Early Monday morning, EMS workers were called to the Adams Houses in the south Bronx, where a man named Tito Morales was found crushed between an elevator car and the wall of an elevator shaft in between the building’s 18th and 19th floors. The 20-year-old tattoo artist was pronounced dead at the scene. Since then, “police sources” have told the New York Post that they blame the gruesome incident on “elevator surfing,” a dangerous activity that involves riding on top of the car “like a roller coaster.”
Meanwhile, Morales’s girlfriend, 24-year-old Joanna Sanchez, told the Post that he was riding the elevator in the conventional way, and only climbed on top of the car after it got stuck in the shaft. “When the elevator went up, he flew up and then he fell,” she said. Several people who live in the building where Morales died confirmed that their elevators are often broken.
“It’s scary,” a 16-year resident told the New York Daily News. “[The elevators are] always shaking.” “The elevators are crazy, they are not safe,” said a woman who said she had been caught in them at least three times. The Department of Buildings last inspected the elevators in January 2013. Whatever happened, Morales’s death is a grim reminder of the inadvisability of venturing into an elevator shaft for any reason.