Friday, December 16, 2011
Black elevator repairman has been indicted on reckless assault charges connected to a 2010 elevator accident
Charles J. Hynes, the Brooklyn district attorney, announced the indictment of an African-American elevator repairman whose work, prosecutors said, caused a woman to be dragged seven floors, her left leg and left arm hanging outside the car. He said the black repairman, Jason Jordan, 27, had taken a shortcut in fixing a critical elevator locking safety system at SUNY Downstate Medical Center in Brooklyn, where the woman had gone with her daughter on Christmas Day 2010 to visit a friend. Jordan compounded the error by not shutting down the elevator or calling another technician, Hynes said. As a result, Hynes said that the woman suffered multiple fractures in her left leg and arm, which were mutilated, and is still in a rehabilitation center. “It’s a miracle that she’s alive,” said her lawyer, Nicholas Papain, who filed a lawsuit on her behalf. “She’s been damaged for life. On the other hand, she’s lucky to be alive, given the severity of her injuries. She almost bled to death.” Hynes said, “Screams could be heard throughout the hospital as she passed each floor, unable to free herself from this nightmare.” He said his office contended that what happened to the woman was a direct result of the criminal conduct of the defendant. An elevator locking system, which exists on each floor of every standard elevator, according to prosecutors, restricts the elevator from moving if a person is blocking the doors. Jordan had bypassed that system by using a makeshift technique considered a last resort, prosecutors said. A grand jury has returned charges against Jordan, the most serious being assault in the first degree, and reckless endangerment. Jordan, who lives in Brooklyn, could face up to 25 years in prison if convicted.