Neighbor Prevents Fatal Plunge with Beach Chair

Bronx Migrant Falls 4 Stories and Survives

By David Greene

An underage migrant teen from Mexico, who was placed in a Bronx foster home a day earlier, plunged four-stories out of a bathroom window– and was saved by a quick-thinking neighbor with a common lounge chair.

Police received a frantic call after Juan Pablo, 17, had been hanging from the window at 2550 University Avenue in Kingsbridge Heights, for nearly five minutes, when he fell to the sidewalk below, at 9:15 p.m. on June 8.One investigator remarked, “I never saw a person survive a fall like that, the chair helped, he’s alive.”

Police on scene after a 17 year-old Juan Pablo fell 4-stories out of a bathroom window. Photo by David Greene

Still waiting for word on the young man’s condition, the police source added, “He’s got broken arms and legs and you don’t know what happened internally. He’s in bad shape. But he might make it.”

As the young man’s condition improved, a member of FDNY’s Battalion 19 on Jerome Avenue, said a day later, “He was in bad shape, we didn’t think he was going to make it.”

Jose Pablo, 17, twelve hours before he fell from a fourth-floor window in the Bronx.

Nolberto Dominguez, 50, an electrician was sitting in his metal and plastic chair with his family outside his home, when he heard the young man’s cries for help. Through a translator, he recalled, “He was hanging out the bathroom window crying for help, he was completely out the window.”

At first thinking that Pablo was just 13 years-old and playing a prank, Dominguez continued, “I didn’t know what to do and I saw the guy falling and I placed the chair where he was going to fall.”

“The guy fell in the chair,” Dominguez added, “and then fell off onto the floor. So I helped him break his fall.” After hitting the ground, Pablo attempted to get up, but was prevented by the multiple broken bones in his slim body.

Witness Audi Diaz, 22, who called 911 when Pablo fell and after the two minute phone call, police and paramedics would arrive four-minutes later. Diaz recalled, “When he fell, I turned away. I couldn’t watch. I saw him hanging… and I saw this guy couldn’t hold on anymore.” Diaz added, I have no idea what he was doing out of the window.”

Rosa Paula, 53, a foster mother who opened her home to Pablo a day earlier, after the Mexican teen was caught coming over the boarder and was detained for two or three months in California, before he was sent to the Bronx.

Her eyes red from crying, Paula thanked Dominguez for saving Pablo, in broken English, She told him, “I’m very grateful for what you did.” Dominguez said he wanted to visit the young man in the hospital, but the agency who placed Pablo told her he could not have any visitors.

Wittiness agree that the fall was not a suicide attempt, as Pablo held onto the windowsill for dear life, leaving the only other theory: that Pablo was trying to climb to the next window and attempt to reach a nearby fire escape and disappear into the immigration underbelly of New York society and no longer under the monitoring of U.S. Immigration and Customs Enforcement (ICE.)

Police officials would only say, “A 17 year-old male jumped out of a 4th floor window causing injuries to arms, legs, and face. He was transported to St. Barnabas.”

First given a grim prognosis, Pablo is now expected to survive. 

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