MANHATTAN (PIX11) — Police arrested a man accused in a violent spree that ended with two dead, including a doctor, and several others injured in Manhattan, NYPD officials announced Monday.
Roland Codrington’s alleged spree of attacks started on Dec. 19. He was allegedly involved in two deadly stabbings, two non-fatal stabbings and an assault with a bat, all in the Lower East Side and in Harlem, police said.
“Our hearts go out to the family and friends and loved ones of the victims who fell prey to this predator,” NYPD Commissioner Keechant Sewell said Monday.
On Dec. 19, Codrington allegedly fatally slashed 51-year-old James Cunningham in the neck in front of 214 Avenue A after the victim left a bar, NYPD Chief of Detectives James Essig said. Cunningham suffered a 10-inch slash wound across the neck.
Josh Greenapple said he last saw Cunningham just 20 minutes before he was killed.
“He was very friendly. We got to talking, he loved doing drag, and I’m a makeup artist, so we connected on that level,” Greenapple said. “He was a really nice guy.”
Police described Cunningham’s deadly interaction with Codrington as random and unprovoked.
“No one heard anything, no one saw anything. People just came out of the bar and they just saw him on the ground it was just very scary,” Greenapple said.
A few days after Cunningham’s death, on Dec. 22, Codrington entered Teddy’s Bar & Grill on Second Avenue with a pit bull and a baseball bat, Essig said. He allegedly assaulted the bartender with the bat. When two customers intervened, Codrington allegedly stabbed them both with a large knife. Police previously identified all of the victims as employees.
Essig said Codrington had a previous dispute involving the bar a week earlier. He apparently felt disrespected by the employees there.
Codrington went home after his alleged assault at the bar, Essig said. He then said he was going for a walk in the park to cool off. While there, he had some kind of verbal exchange and became “enraged.” Codrington allegedly fatally attacked a doctor at Marcus Garvey Park on Dec. 23.
The doctor, 60-year-old Bruce Maurice Henry, was stabbed in the back, torso, buttocks, eye and palms, police said.
By Saturday morning, police knew the attacks were all connected, Chief of Patrol Joh Shell said. They orchestrated a heavy deployment plan to find him.
“It was a great plan on a Christmas Eve when everyone else was shopping, preparing, we were still working,” he said.
On Dec. 24, around 9:40 p.m., members of the 30th Precinct stopped a stolen vehicle around 166th Street and Jerome Avenue in the Bronx and found Codrington, officials said. He was arrested and charged with two counts of murder, two counts of attempted murder a count of assault in the second degree, and a count of criminal mischief.
Codrington has 12 prior arrests, police said. He was arrested in connection with alleged auto-related crimes in 2022. In 2021, he was charged with assault with a weapon. Codrington was charged in connection with two assaults with a weapon in 2017.
A woman was with Codrington at the time of several of the assaults, police said. The NYPD has not publicly identified her or said if she’ll be charged.