A 35-year-old Harlem man accused of killing two people and stabbing two others in a four-day crime spree was arrested on Christmas Eve after he was stopped while driving a Mercedes-Benz belonging to his final victim, the police said on Monday.
The man, identified as Roland Codrington, was charged with two counts of murder and other crimes. He has 12 prior arrests over more than a decade, including assault and robbery with a knife, the same type of weapon he is accused of wielding in three separate attacks starting on Dec. 19, said James Essig, the New York Police Department’s chief of detectives, at a news conference.
The owner of the Mercedes was identified as Bruce Maurice Henry, a 60-year-old pediatrician from the Bronx. He was found stabbed to death at 2:15 a.m. on Friday inside Marcus Garvey Park in Harlem. Police later obtained video of a man and a woman entering Mr. Henry’s car near the park and began searching for the vehicle.
The crime spree began at 1 a.m. last Monday, the police said, when a 51-year-old man was fatally slashed in the neck on Avenue A between 13th and 14th Streets in the East Village in Manhattan.
Police said the victim could be seen on video walking southbound on Avenue A when he was approached by a man, now identified as Mr. Codrington, and a woman who police say is his girlfriend. Mr. Codrington and the victim argued for about 20 seconds when Mr. Codrington pulled out a knife and slashed the other man across the neck, Mr. Essig said.
That victim’s name has not been released.
The second episode occurred on Thursday at around 11:30 p.m. at Teddy’s Bar and Grill in East Harlem. Mr. Codrington, who had been thrown out of the bar about a week ago after a dispute with employees, returned with his girlfriend, a pit bull and a baseball bat, the police said.
“He proceeded to go behind the bar, where he assaulted the bartender and destroyed property,” Mr. Essig said. “When two customers intervened, they were stabbed with a large knife that the male was carrying.”
Their injuries were not life-threatening.
Mr. Codrington went home, Mr. Essig said, then left to take a walk to cool off early Friday morning, when he encountered Mr. Henry in the park, and stabbed him to death after an argument. Mr. Codrington was captured on video getting into Mr. Henry’s car with his girlfriend, who has not been charged.
Mr. Essig said police were able to connect the assailant to the slashing and the bar assault, but not to the murder of Mr. Henry until pulling him over in the Mercedes in the Bronx on Christmas Eve.
“We don’t know he’s directly involved in the homicide in the park until we pull him over in that car,” the chief said.