A video apparently shows the moment a vagrant beat a homeless man in New York City’s Chinatown to death.
Rodriguez “Randy” Santos has been identified as the suspect in the case, reported the New York Daily News. He is accused of killing several homeless men.
The New York City Police Department told the paper that officials are reviewing the video. It’s not clear if the killings were captured on camera, the Post reported.
Santos was charged in the case and is expected to appear in court on Sunday, Oct. 6.
Sources told the NY Daily News that he had a history of mental health problems and had a history of violence.
The homeless men who were killed included an 83-year-old man, a 54-year-old man, and a 48-year-old man, officials said. Some reports said he killed four men while others said he killed five.
The mother of Santos, Fioraliza Rodriguez, said that he had drug problems, stole from his family, and attacked his own grandfather. However, she never suspected he was capable of murder.
“I never thought he would kill someone,” the 55-year-old told the NY Daily News in another report. “I was afraid of him, though, because he punched me. That’s when I told him to get out of my house.”
More than three years ago, she kicked him out of her house.
“When I told him to leave, he came back and threatened me,” she recalled. “He said when I go back to Santo Domingo, he’ll get people to cut my face.” She was referring to the capital of the Dominican Republic, where the family hails from.
Family members told the newspaper that Santos started using drugs when he arrived from their native Dominican Republic about four years ago. The article did not cite a specific drug.
New York City’s homeless population has grown to record levels over the past decade, and the homeless remain among the most vulnerable residents. In the past five years, an average of seven have been slain each year.
The Associated Press contributed to this report.