Man Accused Of Killing 4 Homeless People Had History Of Random Violent Assaults: Reports

Sean Adams
October 08, 2019 - 3:05 pm
Randy Rodriguez Santos Chinatown

AP Photo/Julius Constantine Motal


NEW YORK (WCBS 880) — Those who knew the man accused of beating four homeless people to death in Chinatown, say he appeared to be unraveling mentally in recent weeks and that he had a history of violent assaults targeting random people, according to reports.

Randy Rodriguez Santos, 24, reportedly had a history of violence, mental illness and addiction.

Before he allegedly went on a killing spree, bludgeoning four sleeping homeless men in Chinatown with a pipe, there were previous random assaults. Police say Santos has been arrested at least a half-dozen other times in the past two years, three times on assault charges.

In fact, Chief of Detectives Dermot Shea revealed Tuesday the NYPD believes that eight days before he attacked and killed the four homeless men in Chinatown, Santos assaulted another man on Manhattan's west side.

“We had an individual that was sleeping approximately just north of Chelsea Piers. If you're familiar with the area on the West Side Highway,” he told reporters.

Shea says the homeless man awakened to being hit by an object, possibly a stick and a struggle ensued on Friday, Sept. 27. In that attack, the victim, who ended up with cuts on his chest, thought he might be thrown into the Hudson River. Police have uncovered video surveillance of that incident.

Santos was on the street after his mother kicked him out of her Bronx apartment. He stayed at shelters and reportedly in an abandoned building.

He also ate at the Bowery Mission, north of where the attacks occurred.

Assemblywoman Yuh-Line Niou said at a vigil in Chinatown that the system is broken.

“We need to work together as a city and a state to create a model that focuses on compassionate and effective effects that end the endless cycle of poverty, senseless violence and homelessness,” she said. "The only acceptable option is to stand together, prioritize changing our system to ensure that our vulnerable communities are protected and develop resources that allows people to get out of this cycle."

Santos was bailed from jail by a non-profit, the Bronx Freedom Fund, according to the New York Post, after a groping charge.

A Bronx neighbor told of times Santos lost his mind after smoking crack.

Santos, who is charged with four counts of murder, one count of attempted murder and unlawful possession of marijuana, is due in court Tuesday.

In response to the bloody rampage, the city is stepping up homeless outreach efforts in Chinatown.