NEW YORK: A homeless man wielding a long metal pipe rampaged through New York City early Saturday attacking other homeless people who were sleeping, killing four and leaving a fifth in critical condition, police said. Chief of Manhattan South Detectives Michael Baldassano said at a Saturday news conference that the men were attacked at random in the city’s Chinatown neighborhood with the object that authorities recovered. Police responded to a 911 call just before 2 a.m. as one assault was in progress.
A 24-year-old suspect was in custody but has yet to be charged, the detective said. Police recovered a metal pipe that was still in the suspect’s hands when he was arrested after fleeing following the attacks. Two witnesses told responding officers that the suspect was wearing a black jacket and black pants that helped police find him quickly just a few streets away. Two of the men were killed on The Bowery, which cuts through the heart of Chinatown and has for decades been known as New York’s skid row, inhabited by homeless addicts and alcoholics.
The victims were attacked in three different locations near the intersection of The Bowery and East Broadway. One died of blunt trauma to the head. A second man was attacked nearby but survived. He was hospitalized in critical condition. The other three victims, attacked about a block away, also died of head trauma.