There appears to be no rhyme or reason behind the vicious attacks on five of New York City’s homeless, which has left not only the community but other New Yorkers shaking their heads in dismay.
According to The New York Times, Rudy Rodriguez Santos was arrested and charged in the quadruple homicide, which took place at about 2 AM Saturday (Oct. 5) in the Chinatown section of the city. Authorities have not released the names of the victims but revealed one of them was an 83-years-old man. The fifth victim has been transported to a nearby hospital.
Advocates for the homeless say there’s no way to know exactly how many men and women are living on the street, however, in a 2018 tally the number was 3,588, with 62,000 men and women living in shelters.
Blocks away from the scene, police found 24-year-old Santos holding a bloody metal bar. He was reportedly taken into custody without incident.
“The motive appears to be, right now, just random attacks,” Michael Baldassano, the chief of Manhattan South Detectives said. “No one was targeted by race, age, anything of that nature.”
Santos was captured on surveillance footage approaching the area where one of the attacks took place. Another attack was recorded on a security camera. When approached by investigators, Santos identified himself in the video but didn’t confess to the crime. He later asked for an attorney.
Tang Wu, a manager of the Forever Health Pharmacy at 2 East Broadway, caught the attacks on his store’s camera and was flabbergasted at the callousness of it all.
“They have nowhere to live and you beat them to death,” Wu said. “How terrible.”