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Suspect in deaths of 4 homeless men in Manhattan confessed, prosecutors say

Four homeless men were killed with a metal

Four homeless men were killed with a metal object Saturday morning as they were sleeping in Chinatown, the NYPD said. Credit: Todd Maisel

The man charged with the brutal beating deaths of four fellow homeless men as they slept on a Chinatown sidewalk confessed to police, Manhattan prosecutors said Sunday. 

Randy Santos, 24, was arraigned Sunday on one count of first-degree murder, four counts of second-degree murder and one count of attempted second-degree murder in the four killings and assault of another sleeping homeless man Saturday between 1:30 a.m. and 1:50 a.m., according to the criminal complaint. 

"The defendant stated that he was the person depicted in the video with the long metal object," according to the complaint.

Santos was spotted by an NYPD officer shortly after the attacks holding the blood-covered murder weapon, according to the complaint. 

Manhattan Criminal Court Judge James Clynes ordered Santos, who did not enter a plea, held without bail at his arraignment Sunday. Santos is due back in court Friday. Santos was represented by Legal Aid Society attorney Arnold Levine, who could not immediately be reached for comment. 

Santos, who used a Spanish language interpreter in court, underwent a psychiatric evaluation after his arrest, The Associated Press reported.

Santos used a "long metal object" to repeatedly strike the first victim in the head as he lay sleeping on the ground outside 17 E. Broadway, according to the complaint. That victim died. 

Santos then struck three more sleeping homeless men using the metal object as they slept outside of 2 E. Broadway, the complaint said, killing two of those men. The other remains hospitalized in critical condition. 

Santos then struck a fifth sleeping homeless man with the metal object outside 2 Bowery, the complaint said, killing him. 

The victims' names were not in the complaint. 

Police responded to the attacks in progress on Bowery near Doyers Street about 1:50 a.m., police have said. The suspect was found nearby at Canal and Mulberry streets dressed in black and with the metal object, police have said. 

An officer from the NYPD's 5th Precinct "observed the defendant walking with a large metal object containing fresh blood and hair at approximately 2:00 A.M. in the vicinity of Mulberry Street and Canal Street," according to the complaint. 

The defendant matched a description given to police by the lone survivor of the attack, police have said.

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