NEW YORK - A homeless man who used a metal rod to bludgeon four other homeless men to death in New York City was arrested holding the murder weapon covered with blood and hair and admitted that he was the person in a video of one of the attacks, prosecutors said Sunday.
Randy Santos was arraigned on charges of murder and attempted murder for the bloody rampage that happened early Saturday in Manhattan's Chinatown. He did not enter a plea and was ordered held without bail.
A fifth homeless man who was injured in the attacks remained hospitalized in critical condition Sunday.
The 24-year-old Santos was carrying a metal rod covered with blood and hair when he was arrested near the scene of the attacks, prosecutors said.
They said Santos was shown video of one of the attacks while being interrogated by police and he acknowledged that he was the person in the video with a long metal object.
Santos underwent a psychiatric evaluation after his arrest, police said.
Santos, who has been arrested at least six other times in the past two years, three times on assault charges, used a Spanish interpreter in court. His defense team did not comment. He is due back in court Oct. 11.
Authorities say that on Saturday they received a 9-1-1 call for a person being assaulted around 1:50 a.m. near 2 Bowery. When responding officers arrived, they discovered an unconscious man lying on the ground with severe head trauma, and a second man with head trauma approached officers at the scene.
Two witnesses then told the officers that an unknown man, wearing a black jacket and black pants, struck the victim several times in the head with a metal pipe before running away westbound on Doyer Street.
Police began immediately searching for the suspect and found a man fitting the suspect’s description carrying a metal pipe at the intersection of Mulberry Street and Canal Street.
A search of the surrounding area revealed three more male victims, two in front of 2 East Broadway and one in front of 17 East Broadway. All of the men had severe head trauma and were pronounced dead at the scene.
The lone known survivor of the attacks was hospitalized in critical condition.
Santos' relatives told The New York Daily News he had a history of drug use since his arrival to the United States from the Dominican Republic a handful of years ago.
His mother, Fioraliza Rodriguez, 55, told the paper she had kicked him out of her home about three years ago, after he assaulted her. But while she said she had been afraid of him, she said she "never thought he would kill someone."
The Associated Press contributed to this report.