NEW YORK (CBSNewYork) – An elevator repairman has been indicted by a grand jury on criminal charges after a woman was severely injured at SUNY Downstate Medical Center.
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Brooklyn District Attorney Charles Hynes says last Christmas, maintenance worker Jason Jordan disabled a safety switch that would prevent the elevator from moving with its doors open when he was called to the hospital to do some repair work.
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When a 47-year-old woman got onto one of the elevators, it suddenly moved and she was dragged up seven flights. Her arm and leg were severely injured.
As she entered, the doors closed, and simultaneously, the elevator moved up rapidly while trapping her left leg between the elevator and the shaft wall.
“The elevator traveled up seven flights, the victim suffered repeated, torturous injuries as her leg struck each floor” Hynes said.
The District Attorney said surveillance video shows Jordan on the eighth floor, where he allegedly used a wire jumper to manually bypass the safety system of locks, allowing the elevator to move while out of service, though it had not been roped off, CBS 2′s John Slattery reported.
The indictment says that Jordan didn’t post any signs that the elevator was out of service or had anyone standing by to make sure no one got on.
However, defense attorney David Jacobs said that the incident was “an act of negligence at worst, it wasn’t criminality.”
“Everyone’s worst nightmare is to be trapped by a moving elevator, and due to Jordan’s depravity, this victim lived that nightmare on Christmas Day, as she watched her arm and leg get crushed and torn apart,” said Hynes.
Prosecutors also say Jordan took off when he heard the woman’s screams for help.
“The defendant, seeing what he had done, fled the hospital without saying a word,” said Hynes.
The vicitm’s massive injuries required three months hospitalization and rehabilitation, which continues today.
Jordan is charged with assault and reckless endangerment. If convicted, he faces up to 25 years in prison.
The announcement of the indictment comes just one day after a freak elevator accident killed a woman in a midtown Manhattan office building.
Hynes says the cases are unrelated.
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