Randy Santos, 24, was arrested after the deaths of four homeless men who were bludgeoned with a metal pipe as they were sleeping

New York Police Department on Sunday afternoon charged a man suspected of beating to death homeless men sleeping on the street on Saturday with four counts of murder and one count of attempted murder.

The man, 24, was also charged with one count of unlawful possession of marijuana, department spokesman Martin Brown said.

The suspect had been arrested in the deaths of four homeless men who were bludgeoned with a metal pipe as they were sleeping on New York streets, and he has undergone a psychiatric evaluation.

Randy Rodriguez Santos was arrested on Saturday in connection with a gruesome night-time attack in the early hours of that day that left the men dead in the Chinatown neighborhood, and resulted in another homeless man suffering serious injuries.

The vicious attack left blood splattered on the doorways and sidewalks where the victims had been resting.

Police identified one of the victims as an 83-year-old man and havent released other information on the victims yet. Police say Santos is also homeless and he was taken into custody with the weapon in his hands as he was fleeing. He has been arrested at least six other times in the past two years.

It was unclear early Sunday afternoon if he had an attorney to represent him.

Manhattan detective Michael Baldassano had said at a Saturday news conference that the men were attacked at random and police responded to a 911 call just before 2am as one assault was in progress.

Two witnesses told responding officers that the suspect was wearing a black jacket and black pants, which helped police find him quickly just a few streets away.

Two of the men were killed on the Bowery, a long thoroughfare that cuts north-south in downtown Manhattan, including through the heart of Chinatown, and has for decades been known as New Yorks skid row, inhabited by homeless people.

During the day, the increasingly gentrified neighborhood is bustling with small businesses and street vendors offering discount goods, its sidewalks packed with pedestrians. A contemporary art museum stands cheek by jowl with a large homelessness mission and shelter.

Late at night, when the shops close, it turns into a quiet, desolate neighborhood that was the setting for Saturdays attacks.

The suspects mother, Fioraliza Rodriguez, told the New York Daily News that she had kicked her son out of her house three years ago because of addiction, he had assaulted her and his grandfather and stole from the family.

I never thought he would kill someone, Rodriguez told the newspaper. I was afraid of him, though, because he punched me. Thats when I told him to get out of my house.

Source: http://www.theguardian.com/us


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