The man who jumped out of a refrigerator and attacked employees at Sarabeth’s Restaurant on Sunday, was out on bail as he faced murder charges in the killing of two Boston men, according to authorities.
Carlton Henderson, the man hiding in the fridge, died later that day at a hospital. But his journey to New York was nearly as strange as the incident at the restaurant. Henderson was accused by prosecutors in Boston of committing two murders in 1988. He had just been granted a motion for bail last week, NECN reported, after the judge sided with his lawyer in a technical dispute about previous statements he made to police.
Why Henderson came to New York and walked into Sarabeth’s is still a mystery. His lawyer told the Times that “My impression of him was that he was a very intelligent person who was very engaged as a client. I did not get the sense that he was psychotic or mentally ill or physically ill.”
In court in Boston, Henderson had said he might go to California to stay with his sister while awaiting trial. But instead he came to New York and spent the night at a hotel a few blocks away the night before the incident, NYPD Capt. Timothy Malin told West Side Rag. He walked into Sarabeth’s sometime Sunday morning and went back to the kitchen, where he entered the produce refrigerator, Malin said. An employee who went to the fridge to get food encountered him and asked why he was there; Henderson then jumped out of the fridge, yelled “Away, Satan!”, punched the employee and grabbed a bread knife, Malin said. Other employees subdued him. When the police arrived, Henderson was unconscious and employees were performing CPR, using a defibrillator, Malin said. He was pronounced dead at the hospital. While he died of a heart attack, it’s not yet clear what caused the cardiac arrest.
“Our team handled this incident bravely and effectively,” Sarabeth’s management said in a statement being handed out outside the restaurant on Monday. The full statement is below.
Henderson has a convoluted criminal history, leading to his arrest in the Boston killings. He was most recently living in Arizona, but had originally discussed the Boston murders decades ago while he was cooperating with federal prosecutors who were attempting to take down a San Diego drug kingpin. Eventually, he was tied to the Boston killings last year through a gun found at the home of another man killed in Miami. The judge who allowed Henderson out had agreed with his defense attorney, who said Henderson had given prior evidence on the condition that it not be used against him.