The assault took place in the Chinatown neighborhood in southern Manhattan Island.
QFour homeless men were beaten to death on Friday night in New York City, local police said, who arrested the alleged perpetrator, another 24-year-old homeless man.
A fifth victim, seriously injured, was taken to hospital, police added.
The attack took place in the district of Chinatown, in the south of the island of Manhattan, said Saturday Stephen Hughes of the Manhattan police force, during a press briefing.
The alleged perpetrator was quickly identified thanks to witnesses and arrested in possession of an iron rod. The victims were apparently asleep when they were hit in the head with an iron bar, Inspector Michael Baldassano said.
The motive for these attacks?
“The motive at the moment seems to be a blind assault, no one has been targeted because of their skin color, age or anything like that,” he explained.
More than 63,000 people are accommodated each night in emergency shelters in New York while 4,000 others sleep in the street or the subway, according to the association of assistance to the homeless Bowery Mission.
Psychological disorders, drug addiction, lack of affordable housing and difficulties in keeping a job are the main causes of social downgrading, according to the association.