Brooklyn boy, 12, crushed to death while playing on parking lot gate
Gate rose as car exited parking lot
By Denis Slattery AND Sarah Armaghan / NEW YORK DAILY NEWS
Sunday, May 6, 2012, 6:53 PM
Aaron Showalter for New York Daily News
Police investigate the scene where an 11-year-old boy accidentally got stuck in a roll-up gate on Lott Ave. in East New York. He was taken to Brookdale Hospital, and witnesses described him as looking “pretty bad” when he was removed.
Yakim McDaniels was crushed to death in a pull-up gate in Brooklyn on Sunday, May 6, 2012.
A 12-year-old Brooklyn boy was crushed to death Sunday while playing on a parking lot gate that suddenly rose as a car exited, police sources and witnesses said.
Yakim McDaniels was horsing around with a group of five other children when he climbed onto the roll-down gate on Lott Ave. near Watkins St. in Brownsville, the sources and witnesses said.
Around 4:30 p.m. a car moved to leave the lot and the horrific accident occurred.
“They were in the parking lot playing around that area – he was already on the gate,” said neighbor Reinaldo Blandon, 31, who lives in a building adjacent to the lot.
“The gate is automatic, the car was coming out and the gate started rising,” he said.
Cars that park in the lot are equipped with a sensor key that lifts the gate when the vehicle comes near, Blandon explained.
“He was too high up to let go, he was screaming and screaming and he got caught up on the top of the gate,” Blandon said. “From his head to the back of his shoulders went under, then he stopped yelling.”
The frantic boy’s hand was caught in the gate as it ascended, one police source said.
The FDNY had to cut through the gate to pull the boy out.
The boy’s mother, Doris Chase, rushed out in panic. “His mother, little brother and his cousin came out and were screaming,” Blandon said.
“His mother was just crying – everyone was crying. She just kept yelling, ‘My baby! My baby!,’” he said.
“He was already dead when they pulled him out,” Blandon said. “They put him on a stretcher and put a white sheet over him.”
Emergency responders rushed the boy to Brookdale University Hospital where he was pronounced dead 30 minutes later, according to police sources.
“This is a tragedy, I just lost my oldest son,” said Chase. “He was a leader, he was never a follower.”
The gate is equipped with sensors to prevent it from coming down on top of pedestrians, but not for someone who may become stuck as it goes up, said Penny Wisneski, president of Reliant Realty, which manages the property.
She added that it is now something they will “look into.”
“It’s such a tragedy, it’s so heartbreaking,” Wisneski said. “Our thoughts and prayers are with the family.”
Neighborhood residents complained that their children have few options when it comes to play spaces.
“This community is sick of being gated – the company that runs it refuses to put up recreational facilities and tragedies like this end up happening,” said City Councilman Charles Barron. “The kids have nowhere to play so the company is responsible for the death of this child.”
Blandon’s children used to play with the boy whom he called “very playful and respectful.”
“It happened so quick,” Blandon said.