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Man dies after elevator malfunction in NYC traps him between car and shaft

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iStock(NEW YORK) — A 30-year-old man was killed in a freak accident when the elevator he was exiting in his New York City apartment building suddenly plummeted, crushing him in the process.

The man, identified as Samuel Charles Waisbren, was a resident of the building at 344 Third Avenue in the Kips Bay neighborhood of New York City, police said.

Waisbren was exiting the elevator in the building’s lobby after two other passengers had already left the elevator just before 8:30 a.m. on Thursday, according to ABC New York City station WABC-TV.

When the doors began to close, the elevator unexpectedly malfunctioned and dropped to the basement. Waisbren became trapped between the elevator and the shaft wall, and was pronounced dead at the scene.

Firefighters had to rescue three other people who were trapped inside the elevator and witnessed the horror.

Waisbren’s heartbroken father, Charles Waisbren, told WABC-TV in a phone interview that the elevators were “always broken.”

“He is not going to be able to be a father, have a family and live the life we all hoped for him,” he said.

One resident of the building, which is called Manhattan Promenade, told WABC-TV on Thursday that riding the elevator was scary and that it reminded her of a Halloween ride.

“They always jump between floors,” the resident told WABC-TV. “It’s really bad.”

Anand Sanwal, the CEO and co-founder of CB Insights, where Waisbren worked, said in a statement that “Sam was a great friend to many at CB Insights, and his wit, humor and intellect will be missed. We are shocked and stunned by his loss and will miss him dearly. Our thoughts are with his family.”

In May, the city’s Department of Buildings fined Manhattan Promenade $1,280 because it had found that a door-zone restrictor in one of the 22-story building’s elevators had been tampered with and “rendered inoperative.” WABC-TV said the building had two elevators. The elevator where Waisbren was killed was not the one that had been fined, investigators said. In July, a work permit had been issued to fix the wiring in both elevators.

“DOB is investigating this incident aggressively and will take all appropriate enforcement actions. Elevators are the safest form of travel in New York due to the city’s stringent inspection and safety requirements. We’re determined to find out what went wrong at this building and seek ways to prevent incidents like this in the future,” it said in a statement.

The incident was captured by the apartment building’s surveillance system and the police were reviewing that footage.

Copyright © 2019, ABC Radio. All rights reserved.

New York man charged after telling teen he is in the KKK and spraying him with a hose

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iStock(ROCHESTER, N.Y.) — A New York man was charged with harassment after he told a teenager he was in the KKK and then sprayed the teen down with a hose, police said.

Police said the incident stemmed from a dispute in a park near the house of Glen Nicodemus, 59, of Rochester. Steven Clancey, the chief of police with the Rochester Police Department, told ABC News Nicodemus was having trouble with a group of kids who had been allegedly harassing his mother.

Nicodemus then spotted the kids he thought were involved and went to the park to take their pictures so he could identify them to police, Clancey said, though he noted he did not know if it was actually the group that was allegedly making fun of Nicodemus’ mother.

The group of kids and Nicodemus got in a “dispute” at the park after he began taking pictures of them. Police responded to that incident and spoke to all involved before everyone parted ways without arrests or citations.

It was about half an hour after that when some of the kids, including 14-year-old Jaiden Rodriguez, walked by Nicodemus’ home, saw he was outside and began exchanging words again, according to Clancey.

In the video of the Aug. 14 incident apparently taken by one of the kids, Nicodemus can be seen grabbing his hose and spraying Rodriguez after telling him he was “a member of the Ku Klux Klan.” Rodriguez makes threats to beat Clancey up, but walks away with friends as he’s being sprayed.

Christina Poles, Rodriguez’s mother who later posted the video to Facebook, said her son has received “tremendous support” since the incident, which she thinks has helped him overcome the dispute.

“He was very nervous to do a police statement and advocate for himself,” she told ABC News.

A man who identified himself as Nicodemus’ father declined to comment when reached by ABC News on the phone.

Police said the incident did not rise to the level of a hate crime after checking with the New York State Police Hate Crimes Unit and the Monroe County District Attorney’s Office.

Clancey said a judge did issue an order of protection for Rodriguez, but noted that Nicodemus is not a member of the KKK.

“[Nicodemus] said some stupid things … but there’s no hate crime here. Just harassment,” Clancey said.

Nicodemus was arraigned by police on Wednesday. He has since been released and will report to pre-trial release under supervision.

Poles called his charge a sham, saying she feels the police aren’t taking it seriously.

“The charges that he got charged with, I get more for jay-walking,” she said. “It’s like the laxest punishment I’ve ever seen.”

Copyright © 2019, ABC Radio. All rights reserved.

Suspect arrested in fatal stabbing of retired administrator at Cal State Fullerton campus

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iStock(FULLERTON, Calif.) — Days after a retired California college administrator was stabbed to death, police said they have arrested a suspect.

Steven Shek Keung Chan, 57, was found in a car in a campus parking lot with “numerous” stab wounds Monday morning, according to the California State University Fullerton police.

“A very crude incendiary device” was left in a backpack underneath Chan’s car, Fullerton Police Lt. Jon Radus said.

Items that could be used in a kidnapping, like zip-ties and wigs, were also in the backpack, he said.

A motive was not immediately known.

The slaying launched a massive manhunt. Police on Tuesday released surveillance video showing a man believed to be the suspect running from the crime scene in broad daylight.

Authorities are expected to release more details at a news conference Thursday.

Chan was the director of Budget and Finance and Student Services for University Extended Education from 2009 until he retired in 2017, CSU Fullerton President Framroze Virjee said. Chan returned to campus as a special consultant in 2019.

The university president called the murder “an unspeakable act.”

This story is developing. Please check back for more updates.

Copyright © 2019, ABC Radio. All rights reserved.

Missing New York City chef found dead

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via New York Police Department(NEW YORK) — Andrea Zamperoni, the chef of a high-end New York City restaurant, has been found dead days after he went missing, police said.

Zamperoni, 33, a head chef at Cipriani Dolci in Grand Central Terminal, was found dead on Wednesday on the first floor of a hostel in Elmhurst, Queens, according to police.

His identity was confirmed by authorities on Thursday.

The medical examiner will determine the cause of the death, police said.

The circumstances leading to his death are under investigation.

An autopsy will determine the cause of death, which appears suspicious, police sources said.

 

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The chef had been last seen leaving work at 10 p.m. on Saturday, New York City police said. He was reported missing by his coworkers.

Zamperoni moved to New York in April, according to ABC New York station WABC.

Cipriani Dolci general manager Fernando Dallorso told WABC that Zamperoni’s bank cards haven’t been used and his phone has been off for days.

Copyright © 2019, ABC Radio. All rights reserved.

Search for firefighters who went missing off Florida coast to be suspended at sundown, officials say

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U.S. Coast Guard (PORT CANAVERAL, Fla.) — The search for two firefighters who went missing during a fishing trip off the coast of Florida last week will suspend at sundown on Thursday, officials announced.

Jacksonville, Fla., firefighter Brian McCluney and Fairfax, Va., firefighter Justin Walker never returned after launching off the coast of Port Canaveral, near the Kennedy Space Center, on Friday, according to U.S. Coast Guard officials.

Search and rescue teams continued to look for the pair on Thursday, but U.S. Coast Guard Capt. Mark Vlaun told reporters at a news conference that the search would conclude at sundown and not extend into an eighth day.

Because of the strength of the Gulf Stream, the search area currently exceeds 105,000 square miles — from Florida to several hundred miles off the coast of New England, Vlaun said, adding that officials are no longer able to look for the men with a “probability of success.”

“I’m no longer able to pinpoint a specific location,” Vlaun said.

Searchers were not able to find any additional evidence after a fishing bag that belonged to McCluney was found by a civilian about 50 nautical miles east of St. Augustine, Fla., about 100 miles north from where the pair set off, Vlaun said.

The 24-foot boat they left on also has not been found.

Vlaun described the announcement to end the search as “the hardest decision any Coast Guard leader makes,” but added that the Coast Guard would resume operations if new information emerged.

“If some further clue opens up, we would restart the search and rescue process,” he said.

The family has been informed of the decision, Vlaun said.

“We just have to continue to pray alongside the family that we learn something going forward that will allow us to respond again,” he said.

Copyright © 2019, ABC Radio. All rights reserved.

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