Man charged in Chinatown murders suspected in another attack on homeless man

CHINATOWN, Manhattan (WABC) -- The man who is believed to have murdered four men while they slept in Chinatown last weekend is now the suspect in an attack on another homeless person, police said Tuesday.

Authorities say 24-year-old Randy Rodriguez-Santos is a suspect in an attack on a homeless man who sleeping on a bench along the West Side Highway just north of Chelsea Piers on September 27.

The victim awoke to a person hitting him with a stick, and the suspect then attempted to throw the victim into Hudson River, according to officials.

The victim was seriously injured and remains hospitalized, and the weapon has not been recovered.

Detectives have recovered video of Santos about seven blocks from this assault on the same night.

Chief of Detectives Dermot Shea asked for anyone with information on this incident, or any other incident, to come forward.

Three of the victims have been identified as 54-year-old Nazario A. Vazquez Villegas, 83-year-old Chuen Kwok, and 49-year-old Anthony L. Manson. The fourth victim has not been identified at this time. A fifth man who was attacked remains hospitalized in critical condition.

At a vigil in Chinatown Tuesday night, a Staten Island family remembered Villegas, a father of six and grandfather of 11.

The family said Villegas was not homeless but lived in Staten Island and worked as a handyman. They said he liked to be with his friends, and fell asleep in the wrong place at the wrong time.

"He was a wonderful man, really loved by everybody," said the victim's son Daniel Vazquez.

Chuen Kwok was called Uncle Kwok by locals who would feed him.

"He was kind and sweet, and they want to give him pork bun. He was a neighborhood fixture," said New York City Council member Margaret Chin.

At the vigil, there were demands for better services for the city's most vulnerable and neglected.

The medical examiner said all four victims suffered severe head trauma and skull fractures. All of their deaths have been ruled homicides.

Investigators say they found Rodriguez-Santos with a 15-pound metal pipe, believed to be the murder weapon.

New York City officials said Monday that they will be dispatching mental health outreach teams and increasing the number of homeless outreach teams who have access to psychiatrists and substance abuse resources in the wake of the deadly attacks.

* More Manhattan news
* Send us a news tip
* Download the abc7NY app for breaking news alerts
Copyright © 2022 WABC-TV. All Rights Reserved.