Volume 74, Number 16 | August 18 - 24 , 2004

Police Blotter

Manhole brand
A Brooklyn woman said last week that she fell while skateboarding on E. 13th St. at Second Ave. during the early hours of Wed. Aug. 11 and landed on her back on a hot Con Edison steam manhole cover and sustained scarring burns.

Elizabeth Wallenberg, 26, of Williamsburg, said she was on her way to meet friends at Second Nature, a club on Second Ave., when her skateboard hit a bump, flipping her on her back onto the iron manhole cover. She said it was so hot that the cover’s design was visibly branded onto her lower back. Wallenberg, a receptionist who also works as a deejay in a Williamsburg club, said she then went to meet her friends who took her to Beth Israel Hospital where she spent seven hours being treated for burns that could leave permanent scars.

A Con Edison spokesperson said on Aug. 17 that Wallenberg had notified Con Edison about the incident. “We’re looking into all the circumstances around the alleged incident,” said Chris Olert, the Con Edison spokesperson.

The accident occurred two blocks from where Jodie Lane, 30, a neighborhood resident, was killed in January when she stepped on an electrified metal junction box cover while walking her two dogs.

Councilmember Margarita Lopez, who introduced legislation mandating a system of inspection and maintenance for Con Edison street fixtures in the wake of Lane’s death, scheduled a Wed. Aug. 18 rally at noon with Wallenberg and her attorney, Ronald P. Berman, on the steps of City Hall to reaffirm her intention to pass the legislation.

Berman said Wallenberg had notified Con Edison about the location of the hot manhole cover to make sure that no one else would be injured. Berman added that there was no decision yet about a lawsuit. “We’ve been too busy trying to make sure this doesn’t happen again,” he said.

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