BROOKLYN, NY — A young boy in Brooklyn died a horrible death on Sunday after he got rolled up into the security gate of an apartment complex.
The boy, 12-year-old Yakim McDaniels, was with two friends playing a game with the gate when the incident occurred. The object of the game is to jump on the gate as it rises and be the last one to jump off.
McDaniels won when he was unable to free his hand and was pulled up into the upper portion of the gate and crushed to death.
“He was screaming and screaming and he got caught up on the top of the gate. From his head to the back of his shoulders went under,” said a witness. “He was like rolled up at the top and he was shaking, like convulsing. He did that for five or 10 minutes and just stopped,” said another.
For 20 minutes McDaniels hung there like a macabre banner until firefighters were able to turn off the gate and attempt to extract McDaniels from the machine. Once the cover was removed, witnesses were greeted with a gruesome sight.
“The boy’s arms were above his head, wrapped up in the fence. His neck was cocked to one side. No blood, but no expression. He just looked lifeless hanging there.”
McDaniels had suffered severe head injuries and was pronounced dead at the hospital. Apparently, the kids in the area like playing this “dare” game on the gate and have been warned multiple times to stop.
“It’s a very dangerous situation. I always told the kids to stop playing there,” said one resident who stated she has complained about the gates to management. “They wouldn’t listen.”
The apartment complex had the electronic gate and other security measures installed after it was purchased by Omni New York, which is co-owned by former Mets member Mo Vaughn, in an attempt to keep residents safe from negative elements in the neighborhood.
But some people who live there say that these measures turned the complex into something akin to a maximum prison facility with nowhere for the kids to play; hence the kids in the area using the security gate as a lame ride.
The New York Post has reviewed surveillance footage that captured the accident along with a separate video that shows a security guard looking at a laptop instead of the 16 video feeds in front of him from 350 cameras from around the complex. He doesn’t become aware anything has happened until firefighters arrive.
The family feels that because the complex’s owners were notified of kids playing on the gate, they are partially to blame for McDaniels’ death. The other portion goes to the security guards on duty at the time who they say were playing cards instead of watching their monitors when McDaniels took a ride into the gate’s machinery.
They don’t mention what portion of the blame falls on McDaniels’ parents, the ones ultimately in charge of supervising him, but the family is planning on suing the security company and Omni New York.
“The security company has blood on its hands. The management company is equally culpable,” said Al Banks, the attorney hired by McDaniels’ family. He feels the the fences and gates put in place to protect residents and their property should be removed because they are aesthetically unpleasing to the eye. “As you walk into the apartment complex, you get the feeling you are walking into a maximum-security jail,” Banks said with a straight face.
I’d be interested in how this supposed lawsuit would play out, especially when multiple people had warned the kids repeatedly about playing on the gate, including one of the security guards who told reporters he had told McDaniels to stop messing with it the day before he died.Tags: Accident, Crime, gate, New York, Yakim McDaniels