Teen claims broken elevators cause her to miss school

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THE BRONX -

A student with disabilities claims that broken elevators in her South Bronx building are causing her to miss school.

Angelica Torelli, who has cerebral palsy, says she missed 33 days of school last year. She and her mother, Rebecca Torres, say the absences are due to unreliable elevators at the Saint Mary's Park Houses on Cauldwell Avenue.

When News 12 stopped by, both elevators were working, although the family claims that's not often the case.

"They get them fixed, eventually, but a few days later they are down again," Torres says, adding that waiting for an elevator from their seventh-floor apartment could take an hour when one is down. She says it has made her daughter late to school every day so far this school year.

With Torelli's wheelchair, about three people can comfortably fit in the elevator, which serves 21 floors. But when both elevators are out of service, Torres says she sometimes has to carry her daughter down seven flights of stairs.

The family is now requesting that the New York City Housing Authority move them to a first-floor apartment to alleviate the elevator issues and reduce school absences and tardiness.

NYCHA says it is looking into the elevator concerns and the family's request.

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