Wednesday, December 17, 2014

Witness to a tragedy in Tompkins Square Park

[Image via TSP3A]

On Monday afternoon, 39-year-old Aleim Perkins of Harlem was playing with his niece in Tompkins Square Park.

Some time around 4 p.m., witnesses said that he started pushing an empty tire swing, which struck him in the face and knocked him out. He was rushed to Beth Israel, where hospital officials said he was dead on arrival.

An EVG reader was in the playground off of East Ninth Street at Avenue with his child when the incident occurred. The reader shared this:

I can't being tell you how devastated I am at the tragic death of this man.

I noticed him horsing around with the kids.

My back was turned when the incident occurred and I wasn't aware that anything had happened until I heard the playground go eerily silent.

When I walked over to see what happened, he was lying still on the ground. Someone immediately called 911 and one of the parents who had emergency training assisted Mr. Perkins, who was unconscious and unresponsive. It's tough to judge in retrospect but it couldn't have been more than 5 minutes from the time of the incident until EMS was assisting him.

This is the first time I've seen him at the playground, but I did notice the fun he was having and the joy in his face just seconds before he was struck. He was just goofing around and a one-in-a-million accident took this poor man's life.

You can read more about the story at DNAinfo.


Updated 8:11 a.m.

The Post notes that Landscape Structures, which manufactures the Arch Tire Swing, has previously sold unsafe playground equipment, prompting recalls of swings and slides in recent years. A Parks Department spokesperson said that they are investigating the tragedy ... and wouldn't say if the Department planned on removing the swings.

Updated 9:34 a.m.

According to another resident: "[He] was shadow boxing with the tire and ducking as it swung back. He was pushing it very hard. It's very unfortunate that it happened however."


Anonymous said...

I have been at other playgrounds and seen teenagers and men going nuts with the regular swings and trying to flip them around and spinning those spinny things the kids stand on like crazy. I don't know how often it happens in this park but is it possible to have a rule that adults can't play with with the equipment? I suppose this would be hard to enforce. But imagine if some kid happened to come running up from behind this guy to join in and got hit by the tire?

Anonymous said...

Lighten up with the focusing on the dead man and velocity of tire pushing. send prayers to family and friends. Accidents happen, everywhere. Sad whatever the circumstance.

Anonymous said...

The photograph shows a playground on the Avenue B side of Tompkins Square Park; the accident occurred in the newer playground, on the Avenue A side near East 9th St.

les native said...

Did your therapist ever tell you that you areneurotic? A person died, and your quoting the rulebook

graham said...

key thing is that he thought he was pushing a *tire swing*. It wasn't, it was solid metal cased in plastic disguised as a tire. People will do stupid things, go nuts with swings, flip them over, but they do so on the basis of assumptions they make about the physics of what they're dealing with. This guy probably thought he was risking a tire in the face. They have to get rid of these things. This is like having nerf bats with steel rods in them.

Daniel Polowetzky said...

A review of autopsy findings would be helpful in elucidating this death. What was the cause of death? Intracranial bleeding? Were there factors contributing to his death?
People get hit in the head frequently without dying.
Were there any toxicological results? Was he on the verge of dropping dead anyway?