A 16-year-old Chelsea boy fell to his death on Monday morning Sept. 13 as he was climbing down from the roof of 213 W. 17th St. in the Robert Fulton Houses to enter his familys fire-damaged fifth-floor apartment, police said.
Osana Dallas, a student at Humanities High School, fell five floors to the courtyard in the rear of the building when the rope he was using broke, according to police. He was taken to St. Vincents Hospital where he was declared dead shortly after 9:30 a.m.
The apartment had been closed for renovation after an accidental kitchen fire in June and the family was expected to return soon from temporary quarters in the Campos Plaza development on E. 13th St. It was not known why Dallas was trying to get into the apartment on Monday, but he did not have the keys. He had attached one end of the rope to a pole on the roof of the six-story building and had the other end around his waist but the rope broke before he reached the open window of the apartment.
By Monday afternoon, neighbors had set up a memorial in the courtyard where he fell. At Humanities High School on W. 17th St. where Dallas was a sophomore, his fellow students were devastated on hearing of his death. He was beloved for making friends and neighbors laugh and had his poetry published in the Humanities literary magazine this year.
The investigation into the Sept. 1 death of Spencer Kimbrough, 19, an acting student at New York Universitys Tisch School of the Arts, was still pending on Sept. 14, according to a spokesperson for the Medical Examiners office.
Kimbrough died after he was taken to NYU Downtown Hospital after complaining at 12:20 a.m. of stomach pains at his N.Y.U. residence at 80 Lafayette St.
Kimbroughs family last week engaged the firm of criminal lawyer Johnnie Cochran to investigate the universitys response to the case, but no lawsuit is planned at this time.
Kimbroughs mother said at a news conference five days after his death that doctors had told her that Spencer told them he had smoked marijuana and had been drinking before the stomach cramps attack. However, she said her son was known for being anti-drug and contended that Spencers dorm room had not been sealed after his death, as N.Y.U. had promised it would be, to ensure a proper investigation.
Arrest in Chelsea scam
Police arrested a Chelsea school crossing guard, Anita Vazquez, 50, of 418 W. 17th St., on Sept. 9 and charged her with scamming a Chelsea woman, 74, and stealing from her bank account. Vazquez is charged with gaining the confidence of the victim, a resident of W. 27th St., getting her ATM card and making unauthorized withdrawals of $4,000.
Investigate Hester St. DOA
The Medical Examiners office on Sept. 14 was still investigating the death of a man whose body was found on Sept. 4 on the roof of 140 Hester St. The victim was identified only as an Asian man, 30 years old.
Plea in pot case
Julia Diaco, 18, the New York University freshman charged with making eight drug sales to undercover police from November 2003 to April 2004 in Washington Sq. Park, on W. Fourth St. and in her room at the universitys Hayden Hall residence on Washington Sq. W., agreed on Sept. 9 to go to an Idaho drug rehab residence as part of plea deal.
Diaco, from a wealthy New Jersey family, will get a five-year probation sentence if she successfully completes the 18-month drug counseling and academic program, according to law enforcement officials. Arrested in the spring for selling marijuana, cocaine, LSD, mushrooms and other hallucinogens out of her N.Y.U. dorm room, she could have faced up to 25 years in prison.
Radical attorneys office defends assault protester
A colleague in the office of embattled radical attorney Lynne Stewart is taking the case of Jamal Holiday, the 20-year-old man who faces felony assault charges for beating an undercover detective at the end of the Poor Peoples March at 29th St. and Eighth Ave. during the Republican National Convention.
In the incident, Detective William Sample Jr. was among a group of undercovers who rode motor scooters into the march knocking into protesters.
It was some of the worst policing Ive ever seen. They almost caused a riot, said Zack Winestine, a Greenwich Village community activist who was on the march and about 35 ft. from the incident. The media hasnt brought this out, he said, adding that nothing justifies violence.
A Police Department spokesperson said the officers were responding to another officer who was being hit with a metal barricade.
Another police officer on patrol recently in the Village, requesting anonymity, predicted it will be a hard case to prosecute, in that the marchers might very well not have known the dreadlocked, African-American undercover detective was even a cop.
Attorney Stewart is currently on trial on charges of abetting terrorism.