A Bowery man was charged last night with one slaying attributed to a "Skid Row Slasher" whose latest rampage Sunday night and early yesterday resulted in the death of two men and the wounding of four, raising the total number of victims to 15.
Charles Sears, 32, of the Bowery in lower Manhattan, was arrested and charged with second-degree murder in one of the slayings and, according to chief of detectives James Sullivan, is a suspect in the other 14 attacks. Sears also was charged with attempted assault in another attack.
"I would describe him as a vagrant," Sullivan said of Sears. "He lived on-and-off near Penn Station."
Sears was carrying a blood-stained straight razor when he was picked up by officers on a street in lower Manhattan about 2:45 a.m.
The latest rampage began Sunday night on Manhattan's Lower East Side and continued into the early morning hours up across the island into the Penn Station area despite a dragnet of police officers who scoured the area after the first attack was reported.
The slasher hopped on and off the subway trains as he made his way through the Lower East Side, Soho and up to Penn Station on the West Side, police said.
Police said the first vagrant slain, Michael Fiorentino, was found in the same area about 12:20 a.m. yesterday.
An Emergency Medical Service ambulance driver who picked up the body said Fiorentino's throat "was open so wide blood was running down the sewer system."
Bernardo Hidalgo, an ambulance driver who picked up Harold Wilson, the second vagrant fatally slashed, said the victim was "slashed from ear to ear and lying on the sidewalk."