NEW YORK (CBSNewYork) — Brooklyn District Attorney Kenneth Thompson sent a message Monday to construction company owners who fail to protect their employees.
As CBS2’s Christine Sloan reported, construction company owner Salvatore Schirripa surrendered to authorities Monday. He said nothing as he walked into Brooklyn Supreme Court.
Schirripa, 66, was charged with manslaughter more than a year after his employee, Vidal Sanchez-Ramon, fell from the sixth floor of a Coney Island, Brooklyn building when it was under construction.
DA Thompson said pictures show protective barriers did not go all the way to the edge of the building.
“So as he was raking the concrete — smoothing it out – he was walking backwards, and he fell six stories to his death,” Thompson said.
Thompson said Sanchez-Ramon, a father of three whose family is back in Mexico, did not have a safety harness on either. He said further that Schirripa’s company, J&M Metro General Contracting, has a history of not protecting workers.
CBS2 tried to talk to Schirripa again as he made bail leaving court with his sons, but he had no comment.
“We also know that this particular defendant was on the scene just before his worker died, and that he was up on the sixth floor,” Thompson said. “He saw there were no other safety measures in place.”
The New York City Department of Investigation and the U.S. Occupational Safety and Health Administration also slapped Schirripa with violations. The DOI is has also conducted other criminal investigations into construction site violations – including the East Village gas explosion that leveled three buildings on Second Avenue last year, and a trench collapse that killed a worker.
“We have an obligation here in Brooklyn to protect all workers,” Thompson said. “And so these buildings are going up, but deaths shouldn’t go up in connection with them.”
Thompson said the message he is sending out to all construction company owners if they fail to protect their employees, he will go after them.
Schirripa’s attorney also would not comment. He is out on $35,000 cash bail.