An East Harlem man was arrested on Monday morning and charged with murder and assault in connection with a month-long crime spree that claimed the lives of two men and left two others gravely injured.
Roland Codrington, 35, of 2nd Avenue is charged with murder for allegedly slashing and stabbing two individuals he encountered and viciously attacking three people at a pub he frequented, reportedly choking a female bartender with a baseball bat and then knifing two guests who came to her rescue.
Chief of Detectives James Essig made the news on December 26 that on December 24 police had located Codrington and his girlfriend in a stolen vehicle in the Bronx. After connecting Codrington to all three crimes, detectives launched a huge operation that led to his arrest.
Police Commissioner Keechant Sewell said, “The women and men of the NYPD have once again shown their resolve in bringing to justice a perpetrator, and stopping a crime pattern, thanks to the work of the absolutely greatest detectives in the world, and with the essential aid of extraordinary officers on patrol.” While we celebrate the heroic efforts of our police, our thoughts and prayers are with the loved ones of those who were taken from us by this predator.
Essig claims that Codrigton’s history of arrests begins in 2006 and includes numerous charges of assault involving a firearm. The head of the detective department mentioned that he was arrested earlier this year for multiple attacks involving vehicles.
Essig described the sequence of events beginning with the murder of a man outside 214 Avenue A in the East Village at 1 a.m. on December 19.
Upon exiting a local tavern, the victim apparently ran into Codrington and his girlfriend, as stated by Essig. It is alleged that Codrington and the victim had a verbal argument lasting about 20 seconds before the suspect slashed the victim’s throat.
A short while later, 9th Precinct officers discovered the victim motionless and unconscious with a 10-inch slash wound. A short time afterwards, he was officially declared deceased.
Codrington allegedly attacked again three nights later, around 11:30 p.m. on December 22 at Teddy’s Bar and Grill in East Harlem. Essig reported that the suspect, accompanied by a pit bull and armed with a baseball bat, arrived at the site.
The police say that after Codrington was arrested, he went behind the bar, choked a female bartender with the bat, and caused property damage. According to Essig, Codrington allegedly attacked two male customers for their difficulties before fleeing the scene. Three victims were injured, however none of them were critically hurt.
It was discovered during the investigation that the man had a previous dispute in the pub about a week before because he felt insulted by the staff, as Essig described it. When he didn’t leave, they kicked him out. At the time of his previous visit, “a female was with him.”
In the end, police from the 9th and 23rd Precincts Detective Squads were able to link Codrington to both incidents, but not until after he had committed another murder.
According to Essig, on December 23 at around 2:15 a.m., Codrington confronted and reportedly stabbed Bruce Henry, a 60-year-old paediatrician, at Marcus Garvey Park, near the corner of Madison Avenue and East 120th Street.
Essig further, saying, “There’s a verbal exchange, where [Codrington supposedly] grows enraged, takes out a knife, and stabs [Henry] numerous times.” Regardless of the cause, Henry is in the park at that moment. What happened to him was unjust.
Upon arrival, officers from the 23rd Precinct discovered Henry had been stabbed numerous times in the back, abdomen, buttocks, eye, and palms. He was subsequently pronounced dead.
Police got footage of Codrington and his female companion breaking into Henry’s black Mercedes-Benz, which had been parked outside Marcus Garvey Park on the night he was murdered, December 24. This was the final piece of evidence linking Codrington to Henry’s death.
According to Chief of Patrol John Chell, the NYPD subsequently launched a full-scale, department-wide attempt to apprehend Codrington before he could strike again. This included coordinating the efforts of numerous divisions, such as Strategic Response, Aviation, Communications, Operations, Transit, and Housing.
Codrington and his girlfriend were driving the stolen Mercedes-Benz around the Bronx at 9:45 p.m. on December 24 when they were stopped by three “sharp-eyed” officers from the 30th Precinct. Codrigton was taken into prison quickly; his girlfriend was also brought in for questioning; Essig mentioned that she may face charges as well.
Codrington is charged with two counts of murder, two counts of attempted murder, second-degree assault, and criminal mischief.