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Boy falls out of 4th floor Bronx apartment window, killing him

By Jimmy Adeel
|
May 23, 2023

In an unfortunate event that has shaken the Bronx community, a 9-year-old boy named Miguel Ramos tragically lost his life Sunday when he fell from a fourth-floor apartment window on Mount Hope Place.

The NYPD confirmed this grim news and immediately initiated a detailed investigation. Witnesses at the scene described the chaos that ensued before the arrival of the police, the Daily Mail reported.

Ramos was promptly transported to St. Barnabas Hospital, where he was, pronounced dead.

Witnesses and First Responders Recall the Chaos

Joshua Rodriguez, a neighbor, gave a heart-wrenching account of the commotion at the scene. According to Rodriguez, the child lay unresponsive beneath a tree while people shouted for someone to dial 911.

Rodriguez attempted CPR until law enforcement arrived, stating, "The police arrived and took him to the hospital. The ambulance never came."

The Circumstances Surrounding the Incident

Miguel lived under the care of a foster mother and shared the apartment with two foster siblings. A woman identifying as his stepsister provided the information, sharing that the foster mother was in the bathroom when the unfortunate incident occurred.

Early conjectures that Miguel might have fallen from a fire escape were later corrected; authorities clarified that he fell from a window fitted with an air-conditioning unit. Although investigations are ongoing, the police have not indicated any suspicion of foul play at this point.

Increasing Concerns About Child Safety Measures

This tragic event is the third of its kind in the city within five weeks, bringing child safety measures in residential buildings under intense scrutiny.

CBS News reported a concerning trend where city inspectors had cited landlords less frequently for non-compliance with safety laws following Miguel's death.

In New York City, the law mandates landlords install window guards in apartments where ten-year-old or younger children reside. Following these recent tragedies, many residents of Mount Hope Place expressed their concerns about the effectiveness of these safety measures.

Prevailing Issues with Safety Compliance

Adding to the confusion and despair is the fact that city inspectors had visited the same building before. City records reveal that the Mount Hope building has 94 open violations for various issues, including one from 2020 for missing or broken window guards on the second floor.

Declining Trend in Violations Issued by The Department of Housing Preservation and Development

Disturbingly, a city-wide data review shows a concerning trend. The Department of Housing Preservation and Development (HPD), responsible for enforcing child safety laws, has issued fewer violations for missing or broken window guards than it did a few years ago.

In 2018, about 12,000 such violations were recorded, which rose to over 12,800 in 2019.

However, a sharp decrease was noted in 2022, with only around 7,400 violations issued — representing the lowest number of violations for this issue since 2012.

This declining trend in enforcement actions, coupled with the recent spate of child window-fall incidents, underscores the urgent need for revisiting the effectiveness of the current inspections and the implementation of child safety laws in the city.

Recommendations and Future Implications

The city's health department recommends permanently bolting air conditioner units to windows in apartments where children live to prevent such accidents. However, the compatibility between window guards and air conditioning units raises certain issues.

In response to the recent events, the department expressed its grief and assured that they would collaborate with other agencies to prevent similar occurrences in the future.