There was a multiple murder in New York over the weekend, but few in the country will ever find out about it. There will never be a public policy discussion over murders like this, because Republicans refuse to push the issue of repeat offenders avoiding jail time.
Rodriguez “Randy” Santos was arrested Saturday for beating five homeless men in Chinatown with a metal pipe while they were sleeping, leaving four dead and one critically injured. The 49-year-old victim who survived was the one who identified Santos for police. Santos was reportedly caught on video footage roaming the streets looking for more victims before he was caught.
Clearly, gun control wouldn’t have helped here, and already, nobody can carry a firearm to protect themselves against such attacks in New York City. But you know what could have worked? Criminal control of known repeat violent offenders who barely serve any time in prison.
In what is becoming an epidemic in cities like New York, Santos had at least 14 arrests, often for violent crimes, but was not locked up.
According to the New York Post, Santos had 14 prior arrests over 11 years, four just over the past year. Santos allegedly attacked a man by biting him in the chest last November, but the disposition of his case is sealed, and it’s unclear why he remained out of jail.
Also, that month, according to the Post, Santos was arrested for slugging a random stranger on the subway. His most recent arrest on May 13 was for striking a homeless person at a shelter with, you guessed it, a metal pipe.
Past behavior is the best predictor of future behavior, yet for all the complaints that we supposedly lock up too many non-violent criminals, we are not even locking up those who assault other people and are a public danger.
While the Left is so fixated on mass shootings with “assault” rifles by first-time criminals, by far most murders are not committed by mass shooters. Most of the perpetrators are repeat offenders who are left on the streets. There have been 1,196 victims of mass shootings since 1966. That is 0.001 percent of the 942,216 homicide victims from 1966 to 2018. Yet there is no effort by Republicans in the Senate to push a criminal control agenda against known repeat offenders the way House Democrats are pushing gun control.
Last week, the FBI published its annual Uniform Crime Reporting data. Table 8 shows that just 297 homicides in 2018 were committed with rifles of any sort. Nearly five times as many murders were committed with knives and 443 with blunt objects, as was the case in this horrific attack on the homeless. Thus, you can take every AR-15 off the streets, but if you ignore the known criminals, you will not save lives.
In the case of Santos, he was also arrested this year for groping a woman and for shoplifting. In 2016, he was accused of breaking his grandfather’s nose in another savage attack, according to the New York Daily News. Meanwhile, the politicians are constantly looking for new ways to abolish pretrial bail requirements or end the concept of incarceration altogether.
Just last week, another known violent criminal, Jaquan Whittle, was arrested for savagely knocking out a 71-year-old grandmother in Brooklyn and breaking her jaw. It turns out this man was arrested for attempted rape of another woman in a subway just two years ago but of course never served any time.
In addition to not locking up our own criminals, we continue importing criminals from other countries. Santos reportedly immigrated to the country roughly four years ago from the Dominican Republic. It’s unclear whether he came here legally and under which process.
I could fill up my columns with cases of repeat violent offenders who are never locked up, but you’d be bored to death. Yet according the politicians in Washington, we lock up too many people for too long. The sad reality is that if they get their way with gun control, every city will be like New York and Chicago, where citizens will have no recourse to arm themselves against all the violent predators released under the guise of compassion.
Daniel Horowitz is a senior editor of Conservative Review. Follow him on Twitter @RMConservative.