Man Who Jumped Out of Sarabeth’s Fridge Was Facing Murder Charges in Boston Killings

Carlton Henderson, in a mugshot from the St. Louis PD.

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.

NEWS | 19 comments | permalink
    1. Scott says:

      Judge Janet Sanders of the Massachusetts Superior Court is the person who released him. Massachusetts has a long and disgraceful history of siccing violent criminals on society, going back to the infamous Willie Horton.

      • Nukleopatra says:

        Thank goodness this menace is off the streets now!

      • Adam says:

        While we’re on that subject let’s not forget the Air Force’s ‘forgetting’ to notify the FBI about its violent offenders. Remember that one? Devin Kelley went on to kill 26 people in Texas in November 2017. Its not just judges from liberal Massachusetts who can make such mistakes, some more deadly than others

      • Scott, you're a racist says:

        Scott you’re a racist. Should we lock you up because one *other* racist (Dylann Roof) massacred 9 peaceful black people? Learn the facts and don’t be led by the nose by every racist dog whistle you see. Every state had furlough programs in the mid-80s. Even Reagan had 2 furloughed prisoners kill people WHILE HE WAS GOVERNOR OF CALIFORNIA. And he DEFENDED the program after it happened. They serve a purpose (preparing inmates for future integration into society. It’s not like they’re just some lefty feel good program. Use your head instead of your racist heart.

        • Scott says:

          Someone get you a whaaaaambulance.

          • Scott is definitely a racist says:

            Interestingly no denial of being a racist, so at least we’ve got that nailed down. Why do you live in a diverse city where you might have to interact with black and brown people?

            • Scott says:

              I tend to have no need to respond to allegations made by garbage people on the Internet. A category you most certainly fit into. Now, amuse us some more by defending a first-degree murderer.

            • Bruce E. Bernstein says:

              The Willie Horton ads by George HW Bush, against Michael Dukakis, are long enough ago that historians have reached a verdict. And that verdict was that these were among these worst race-baiting ads in recent history.

              Anyone who cites these ads in a positive way has a lot of explaining to do.

    2. Sherman says:

      It’s nice that the UWS is so welcoming of people from around the country.

    3. dannyboy says:

      “Malin said. Other employees subdued him. When the police arrived, Henderson was unconscious”.

      more and more apprehensions are going this way.

    4. BillyNYC says:

      Still amazing…. how did this guy get to the back kitchen The restaurant and into the freezer?
      these stories you can’t make up and the only thing I can think of that team is a time traveler, quantum leap maybe?

    5. robert says:

      As I said yesterday….
      robert says:
      August 6, 2018 at 7:36 pm

      You seem surprised that the police didn’t personally give you a private briefing. Sometimes they purposely hold back information while they conduct their investigation. Which they were doing a suspect in this incident was a suspect to a double murder in Boston dating back to 1988, which he was indicted for late last year. He also was part of as large violent drug-trafficking ring based in San Diego that had extended to other parts of the country, including Boston.
      So before you jump on NYPD for not always immediately making ever detail of a crime public, stop and think.

    6. Philip says:

      What a disgrace that he was released! It put other people in danger. So glad he died of a heart attack and is not walking the streets anymore. No loss!!

    7. Mary Beth says:

      I agree. I am a former federal prosecutor (21 years). It is so disappointing when Judges don’t understand that the law gives them the power to detain violent defendants.

      • Why are you all so scared of black people? says:

        Did you read the article? The judge thought it unlikely he’d be convicted, and the murder happened 30 years ago.

    8. Marsha says:

      We know that Sarabeth’s is busy on a Sunday. But I cannot imagine that no one stopped a man who walked through the restaurant and right into the kitchen in the back. It was reported that he was in the freezer for 2 hours. Management needs to address the seemingly lax nature of the staff. It seems fair to ask what might be getting into the food unnoticed?

      • BillyNYC says:

        Spot on !
        I ate there last night and everybody seem to be on their best with eyes on everybody.