THE BRONX - A city councilman has joined residents of a NYCHA building at Boston Road Plaza in demanding the city take responsibility for the gruesome death of a tenant who hit his head leaping from a faulty elevator.
Neighbors say Olegario Pabon, 84, told them he jumped out of the elevator after it stuttered up and down, frightening him. They say he hit his head and crawled, screaming in pain, to the nearest apartment on Christmas Eve.
City Councilman James Vacca has joined the residents in decrying NYCHA's apparent neglect of maintenance.
"How does this happen, and where does the responsibility lie?" Vacca asks. "We have a gentleman who lost his life because an elevator malfunctioned, it came to this."
Medical officials say Pabon later died from his injury and a combination of medications he had been taking.
Pabon leaves behind a bed-ridden widow, who is among the many senior citizen residents of the building who say they've complained about the elevator to NYCHA for years, to no avail.
NYCHA and Department of Buildings crews have been in and out of the building for the last several days. They've shut down the faulty elevator and placed a sign on the door reading "UNSAFE" in bold, red letters.
NYCHA says both the Housing Authority and the Department of Buildings are investigating the matter. It has also extended its condolences in a statement that also promised to ensure repairs.