A Train ripper who was arrested covered in blood in NYC is charged with two murders and two assaults
The ‘A-Train Ripper’ who was arrested covered in blood after going into a stabbing on the subway was charged Thursday in the New York Supreme Court on two charges of murder and two charges of assault.
Rigoberto Lopez, 21, had previously confessed when he was arrested for the deadly slashings that took place over the course of 14 hours from February 12 along the A-line of the New York City subway system.
At the trial, Lopez appeared before Judge Laura Ward and sat with his head down – never looking up – surrounded by his two lawyers and a Spanish interpreter.
When asked how he pleaded his charge, Lopez was silent.
The court and its attorneys agreed to a ‘730’ mental health assessment to determine if he is fit to stand trial – a process that usually takes a few weeks to complete.
The A-Train Ripper, who was arrested covered in blood after going into a stabbing on the subway, was charged in the New York Supreme Court on Thursday.
Rigoberto Lopez (pictured), 21, who is said to be mentally ill, was charged with murder and assault after confessing to the attacks
Rigoberto Lopez, 21, appeared in court on two charges of murder and two charges of assault
During the trial, Lopez appeared before Judge Laura Ward and sat with his head down – never looking up
When asked how he pleaded for his indictment, Lopez was silent on Thursday during his indictment
A lawyer for Lopez also asked the court to amend a protection order that would allow his father to appear in court during future proceedings involving his son. He was not present on Thursday due to the court order.
Judge Ward granted the request and sent Lopez back to prison wearing a bright orange jumpsuit with a Department of Corrections stamp on the back.
Lopez had been arrested while covered in blood on W. 186th St and Audubon Avenue in Washington Heights – just blocks from where the frenzy began, according to the New York Daily News
The court and its attorneys agreed to a ‘730’ mental health assessment to determine if he is fit to face trial
A lawyer for Lopez also asked the court to amend a protection order that would allow his father to appear in court
Judge Ward granted the request and sent Lopez back to prison wearing a bright orange jumpsuit with a Department of Corrections stamp on the back
Police sources said Lopez, who is reportedly mentally ill, confessed to all attacks and at the time released an image of the knife on Twitter, saying, “ The suspect was found with this knife at the time of arrest that he was using on the vulnerable. ”
NYPD Commissioner Dermot Shea said a “ wave ” of 500 additional agents was immediately deployed to the department’s Transit Office after the attacks began.
During a press conference announcing the initial arrest, police told reporters that the violent stabbing began around 11:20 a.m. on Feb. 12.
That’s when a 67-year-old man was stabbed by an attacker at the 181st Street A-line subway station.
The victim, who survived, told police that his attacker shouted “I’m going to kill you” before being stabbed in the right knee and buttock. New York Post reported.
The next attack occurred before midnight, when authorities found a man stabbed to death in his seat on the A train at Mott Avenue station in Far Rockaway, Queens.
The victim was pronounced dead at the site of stab wounds to his neck and torso.
Just two hours later, a 44-year-old was found unconscious after being stabbed while riding the A train at 207th Street Station in Upper Manhattan.
Police are seen on subway line A on its way to Inwood on Saturday, looking for the subway slasher
Police released an image of the knife and said, “The suspect was found in the arrest with this knife he used on the vulnerable.”
The woman was rushed to a nearby hospital, where she was pronounced dead.
And minutes later, a 43-year-old man was stabbed at the A subway station on West 181st Street in Manhattan. He was rushed to hospital where he recovered.
Since the start of the coronavirus pandemic, there has been an increase in violent incidents in the largely abandoned metro stations, while passenger numbers have fallen due to fears of infection.
Transit officials have demanded that the 24-hour metro schedule be resumed after several reports of ill-treatment during nighttime hours when trains are shut down for COVID-19 cleanups.
The union representing the Metropolitan Transportation Authority employees who operate the city’s public buses and subways are being attacked, harassed, spat on, and in serious cases nearly killed by attackers in largely empty stations.
In November, New York police said it would add about 200 officers to its patrols of subway stations after a series of troubling incidents.