‘Safer to keep him here’: Arizona prosecutor won’t extradite SoHo hotel murder suspect

‘Safer to keep him here’: Arizona prosecutor won’t extradite SoHo hotel murder suspect
  • Oops!
    Something went wrong.
    Please try again later.

MANHATTAN, N.Y. (PIX11) — Arizona prosecutors will not extradite the man accused of bludgeoning a woman to death in a SoHo hotel because New York City’s bail laws are too lenient, officials said.

“We’re going to keep him here,” Maricopa County Attorney Rachel Mitchell said at a press conference Wednesday while taking a dig at Manhattan District Attorney Alvin Bragg.

“Having observed the treatment of violent criminals in the New York area by Manhattan DA there Alvin Bragg, I think it’s safer to keep here and to keep him in custody so that he cannot be out doing this to individuals either in our state or county or anywhere in the United States,” Mitchell said.

Raad Almansoori, 26, was apprehended by police in Arizona after allegedly stabbing two women before implicating himself in the death of a Queens woman at the SoHo 54 Hotel at 54 Watts St. in Lower Manhattan earlier this month, authorities said.

Woman, child hit by vehicle in Manhattan: police

Almansoori told the officers he was wanted for a homicide in New York and allegedly told them to “Google SoHo 54 hotel,” according to NYPD Chief of Detectives Joseph Kenny. Authorities were attempting to extradite the suspect to New York City to face charges. Almansoori is being held without bail in Arizona, Mitchell said.

Bragg’s office accused Mitchell of playing political games with a murder investigation while citing the decrease in murders and shootings in New York City, according to spokesperson Emily Tuttle.

“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,” Tuttle said.

Almansoori allegedly confessed to the gruesome killing of Denisse Oleas-Arancibia, 38, during an interrogation, Arizona police officials said Wednesday. The suspect allegedly bludgeoned the sex worker to death with an iron after the two fought inside room 1109 at the hotel, authorities said.

A hotel employee discovered the victim’s body in the room on the morning of Feb. 8, police said. The victim had pieces of plastic in her head from a bloody iron, which was found near her body, police said. She died of blunt force trauma, officials said.

“It appears there was a dispute over time allowed to stay in the room after services were rendered,” Kenny said, adding that Almansoori allegedly met with another escort in Manhattan the day before the slaying.

Almansoori allegedly left his bloody pants in the room and walked out of the hotel in the victim’s leggings before hopping on a plane from Newark Liberty International Airport to Arizona, police said. The suspect then allegedly carjacked a woman at knifepoint in Phoenix and stabbed a McDonald’s worker several times in the restaurant bathroom over the weekend, authorities said. Both victims were stabbed multiple times, police said.

Officers arrested Almansoori in a mall parking garage where he was allegedly planning more attacks, according to police in Arizona. The suspect allegedly admitted he wanted to continue his alleged crime spree and hurt more people in Arizona, officials said.

“This arrest … stops that path of destruction,” Chief of Police in Surprise Benny Pina said.

The Arizona charges were pending, Mitchell said.

The suspect has an extensive arrest history in several states, including an alleged kidnapping and a sexual assault in April 2023 in Florida, officials said. Almansoori told authorities he hurt three additional girls in Florida. Authorities believe there may be more victims in other states and have reached out to the FBI for assistance.

Mira Wassef is a digital reporter who has covered news and sports in the New York City area for more than a decade. She joined PIX11 News in 2022. See more of her work here.

For the latest news, weather, sports, and streaming video, head to PIX11.