VAN NUYS (CBSLA) — A Connecticut man accused of going on a murderous crime spree from New York to California pleaded not guilty in a Van Nuys courthouse Monday.
Danueal Drayton, 27, made it to court following officers’ difficult time getting him to appear. He finally arrived to the courthouse in a white van after failing to get onto the transport bus earlier. Once inside, sources told CBS2 News Drayton laid on the floor, hiding in a corner of the holding cell and moaning that he needed a doctor. Deputies said he was, in fact, put in a safety chair, which they say was close to the ground.
Despite the initial difficulty, Drayton pleaded not guilty to an attempted murder charge stemming from his arrest in North Hollywood last week. Police on the East Coast had been searching for Drayton as a suspect in the strangulation murder of 29-year-old nurse Samantha Stewart of Queens in New York City earlier this month.
A joint New York-New Jersey police task force caught up with Drayton on Tuesday when he was found in a motel room in North Hollywood, where he was holding a 28-year-old woman captive against her will.
The Los Angeles District Attorney has charged Drayton with attempted murder and sexual assault.
In New York, Drayton has been charged with Stewart’s murder, in addition to the rape of a 23-year-old woman in Brooklyn.
Police said Drayton lured women into dates via Tinder before assaulting them.
The New York Daily News reported over the weekend that Drayton confessed to killing as many as six other victims, including two in Connecticut, one in the Bronx, one in either Queens or Nassau County, New York, and possibly one other in California. The NYDN’s source told the paper it was unclear if the confessions were factual.
Drayton is being held on $1.5 million bail.
Drayton was arrested in June for allegedly choking an ex-girlfriend, but was set free after a judge ordered his bail dropped.