Arizona county attorney refuses to extradite SoHo hotel murder suspect, claims NYC soft on crime

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A grandstanding Arizona county prosecutor is refusing to extradite Raad Almansoori, who is accused of strangling and bludgeoning a Queens mom sex worker to death in a SoHo hotel, claiming she fears he could be back on the street under Manhattan DA Alvin Bragg’s watch.

During a press conference with Arizona police department heads, Maricopa County Attorney Rachel Mitchell said she’s instructed her attorneys not to agree to any extradition for Almansoori.

‘We are going to keep him here,” said Mitchell, a Republican. “Having observed the treatment of violent criminals in the New York area by the Manhattan DA there, Alvin Bragg, it’s safer to keep him here and keep him in custody so he can’t be out doing this to individuals either in our state or county or the United States.”

Bragg was quick to hit back.

“It is deeply disturbing that DA Mitchell is playing political games in a murder investigation,” said Emily Tuttle, a spokeswoman for Bragg.

“In Manhattan, we are serious about New Yorkers’ safety, which is why murders are down 24% and shootings are down 38% since DA Bragg took office,” Tuttle said.

“New York’s murder rate is less than half that of Phoenix, Arizona, because of the hard work of the NYPD and all of our law enforcement partners. It is a slap in the face to them and to the victim in our case to refuse to allow us to seek justice and full accountability for a New Yorker’s death.”

If Almansoori, 26, is extradited to New York, he is expected to be charged with murder and would almost certainly be ordered held without bail. The Manhattan District Attorney’s Office is determining the next steps to take in Almansoori’s case given Mitchell’s stance, Tuttle said.

After being arrested for two separate non-fatal stabbings of women in Arizona, Almansoori allegedly indicated to police he murdered Denisse Oleas-Arancibia, who was found strangled and struck in the head with an iron inside the hotel on Watts St. near Sixth Ave. on Feb. 8.

He encouraged cops in Arizona to google the SoHo 54 Hotel to learn more about his misdeeds, NYPD Chief of Detectives Joseph Kenny said Tuesday.

NYPD detectives had identified Almansoori as a suspect with help from a Burger King receipt found in a pair of bloody men’s pants in the hotel room. But the suspect had already flown to Arizona, where he allegedly attacked women in Phoenix and Surprise, Ariz.

During interviews with police after his Arizona arrest, Almansoori said he “intended to find and harm more individuals in our community,” Scottsdale Chief of Police Jeff Walther said Wednesday.

After Almansoori allegedly stabbed an 18-year-old McDonald’s employee in the restaurant ladies room in Surprise on Saturday, he stole a car and fled the scene, according to cops.

Using license plate readers, Scottsdale police tracked the stolen car to a parking garage at the Scottsdale Fashion Square Mall on Sunday, where “thousands of people” were shopping, Walther said.

Walther believes Almansoori was out to attack someone at the mall.

“Without a doubt we stopped someone from being harmed and stopped him from continuing his path of destruction,” Walther said.

Bragg’s prosecutors have been criticized by some for being supposedly soft on seeking bail and jail time for suspects facing violent offenses.

Most recently, a criminal court judge released without bail four migrants charged by Bragg’s office in the beating of an NYPD lieutenant and officer outside a Times Square shelter, infuriating police unions. Bragg last week sought to hold without bail three of the seven suspects at their Manhattan Supreme Court arraignments — two successfully — and bail for the rest.

The Manhattan DA routinely seeks to hold without bail extradited suspects, even those accused of offenses less serious than murder, including Alex Jean, who was extradited from Florida in April 2023, accused of kidnapping a homeless teen, and Gary Cabana, extradited from Philadelphia in January 2023 after being accused of stabbing workers at MoMA.

Other suspects include Camby Wilson, who the Manhattan DA sought to hold without bail after his October 2023 extradition from Maine for an East Harlem shooting, Jason Clotter in October 2022 after his extradition from Tennessee for a fatal hit-and-run and Jose Reyes, extradited from Philadelphia for involvement in Washington Heights shooting in January 2022.

Almansoori is facing charges of attempted murder, aggravated assault and theft for the Surprise stabbing, as well as robbery, assault, theft and criminal damage in the Phoenix attack.

He is currently being held without bond, Mitchell said. “There is no amount of money that he can post to get out of custody at this point,” she said.

Mitchell emphasized her decision to hold on to Almansoori isn’t a slight against the NYPD.

“This is not aimed at the NYPD at all,” she said. “I know they did a hard job and a good job.”