Saturday, April 28, 2012

Former East Village resident injured by falling air conditioner remains missing

[Via EaterNY]

On Sept. 28, 2010, an air conditioner fell six stories and landed on the Winebar canopy on Second Avenue at Fourth Street.

Here's how the Post illustrated the accident:

According to published reports, the AC bounced off the canopy and hit 67-year-old Tony Franzese, who was walking his dog as he does every morning, in the head. He suffered severe head injuries, and the EMTs took him to Bellevue Hospital.

The Post reported that Franzese, a decorated Vietnam War veteran, had been evicted from his apartment... and was due to leave the building on Sept. 30.

And that's the last we heard of this accident. Until yesterday. The Post reported that Franzese had filed a $21 million lawsuit against the landlord. However, according to his attorney, Franzese vanished about a year ago.

It gets a little complicated. The NYPD brought in a "John Doe" to St. Luke’s-Roosevelt Hospital on Tuesday. An NYPD sergeant photographed the man and fingerprinted him for the Missing Persons Bureau. A few days later the officer saw the Post article about the missing man and realized that the patient at St. Luke’s-Roosevelt was Franzese. The NYPD returned to the hospital only to discover that officials had already released Franzese.

The officer who took his photo told the Post, "He's extremely incoherent. He couldn’t even say his name to me. He couldn’t formulate words." Apparently he "suffers from bi-polar disorder and serious brain injuries."

Here's the photo of Franzese from the hospital:

Per the Post: "But because authorities now have his fingerprints and have connected them to his identity, they hope Franzese will be found when he turns up at another hospital."


Brian Van said...

How depressing. He could make another 20 hospital visits before anyone bothers to check his identity/prints again.

EV Grieve said...

Absolutely, Brian.

Given his state via the NYPD sgt., was curious how/why the hospital released him.

DrBOP said...

Tryin' to slow myself down on this one. I am also a decorated combat USArmy VietNam Veteran, so this particular post hits close to home. I look at this man's picture and I not only see a "brother" in trouble, but I'm also lookin' at what could easily be me. Gettin' older by the day, hair gone or greying, and getting that gaunt look that makes me wonder who I'm looking at in the mirror anymore.
But that's not really the point here I think. How in the HELL does a hospital RELEASE someone who can't even say their own name? Does it really come down to whether they have insurance or not. Doesn't really matter if he's a Vet or not.......HE'S A HUMAN BEING!
Living in Canada as I do, you would think that these things don't happen north of the border.....but they do. Back in the early 90s we had a d*ckhead Ontario premier (Mike Harris)who thought it was a good idea to shut down all our major mental institutions and get mentally ill folks to live together in support homes. Not too bad an idea as far as an alternative treatment, but there was limited money allocated to support these co-ops, and in time most of them have shut down. Now it's estimated that over half of our homeless citizens have mental disabilities.
I guess I'm ranting a bit here (sorry), but what are our societies coming to when folks can't make the connection between proper taxation for everyone which (hopefully) would result in a better medical system, and the quality of life surrounding themselves and their families. And heaven forbid that one of their/our family or friends have an unfortunate accident like this gentleman.
Wish I had more of a point to make,but I just can't get this man's photo out of my head.

Kimberley said...

Does he walk with a limp?

Anonymous said...

Years ago when I was living on the UWS..there was a man (I assume) in a full body cast sitting on one of the benches. I have never been able to forget such a scene..he was released from the hospital with no where to go and no one to help him???I will never understand heartless and cruel.

glamma said...

wow. this is heartbreaking. i hope they find this gentleman and that he has a very, very good lawyer.
seems like the last person who should have an airconditioner fall on them!!

Continuum Cycles said...

It is now June . Is there an update ? Anyone? Also, does anyone know what happened to his dog?

Vandognanny said...

No updates since? Wow so sad.