Arizona officials refuse to extradite SoHo hotel murder suspect to NYC

Authorities in Arizona refuse to extradite a man accused in the grisly SoHo hotel murder to New York, claiming that Manhattan District Attorney Alvin Bragg cannot be trusted.

"Having observed the treatment of violent criminals in the New York area by the Manhattan DA there, Alvin Bragg, I think it's safer to keep him here and keep him in custody, so that he cannot be out doing this to individuals, either in our state or county, or anywhere in the United States," Maricopa County District Attorney Rachel Mitchell said during a Wednesday press conference.

NYC police officials said at a news conference Tuesday that they are seeking to extradite and arrest Raad Almansoori, 26, in the killing of Denisse Oleas-Arancibia, 38. He has not yet been charged and remains in custody in Arizona for separate stabbing attacks targeting women.

"It is deeply disturbing that D.A. Mitchell is playing political games in a murder investigation," a spokesperson for Bragg said in a statement.

Bragg has faced sharp criticism on the national stage for his handling of a recent attack on NYPD officers near a Times Square migrant shelter. At least five of the suspects in the case were released without bail, and four then reportedly fled New York State.

Yet Almansoori already has a history of being released on bail – in Florida. According to our sister station FOX 35 Orlando, Almansoori is accused of sexually battering and assaulting a woman in Orlando last April. Court records show he bounded out of jail this past September, and the case remains open, with a trial scheduled for March.

In his response to Mitchel's statement, Bragg said Manhattan officials are serious about New Yorkers' safety"New York's murder rate is less than half that of Phoenix, Arizona, because of the hard work of the NYPD and all of our law enforcement partners. It is a slap in the face to them and to the victim in our case to refuse to allow us to seek justice and full accountability for a New Yorker's death," Bragg's response to Mitchell continued.

Oleas-Arancibiam was found by staff on the floor of a Lower Manhattan hotel room on Feb. 8. Her death was determined to have been caused by blunt force trauma to the head, and a broken iron was found at the scene, police said.

Almansoori was arrested on Sunday in Arizona. Police allege he attacked an employee in a McDonald’s bathroom, where he climbed under the door, pointed a BB gun at her and stabbed her at least three times in the neck before fleeing. Phoenix police said he is also suspected of stabbing another woman during a robbery attempt while armed with a knife and gun a day earlier.

While in custody, he told officers he was wanted for the homicide and that they should Google the hotel’s name, NYPD Chief of Detectives Joseph Kenny said.

Reporters have pressed Mitchell to explain why Almansoori has not been charged with attempted murder in the Arizona cases, given his apparent confessions to police.

The Associated Press contributed to this report.