The Snow Taketh Life, and the Snow Giveth Life

By
Photo: Mario Tama/Getty Images

For most of the city, the great tsnownami of 2010 reached only the level of annoyance — your car was entombed, you couldn't get to your office, you stepped in some of that stealth slush that looked like it was solid ground and then you had to go back upstairs and change your socks, etc. For the handful of people who were forced to wait hours upon hours for an ambulance, like the Brooklyn woman who lost her baby and the Queens woman who died after having trouble breathing, it was devastatingly tragic. But the universe has a way of balancing things out, and yesterday, the snowstorm decided to save a life for a change.

It wasn't the snow directly, but the massive pile of uncollected sidewalk garbage it engendered, which broke the fall of Vangelis "Angelo" Kapatos, a 26-year-old who was recently discharged from Bellevue's psych ward after suffering a nervous breakdown. Facing eviction from his family's 45th Street apartment, Kapatos tried to take his own life. Jumping from nine stories up will usually get the job done, but not this time. "Maybe it was lucky we had this snow and they hadn't cleared the garbage," his aunt said. Nice work there, city! With this suicide averted, you can go ahead and pick up the garbage now. It's starting to get a little too Slumdog Millionaire around here.

Garbage pile saves Vangelis (Angelo) Kapatos, 26, who tried to commit suicide in midtown
[NYDN]
Suicide jumper saved by pile of trash bags [NYP]