NEW YORK (CBSNewYork) — A concrete cinder block crashed through the roof of a Metropolitan Transportation Authority bus, hitting and injuring an 18-year-old passenger in the Bronx.
Police believe the brick was intentionally tossed from above West 166th Street and Ogden Avenue in the Highbridge section of the borough around 9:30 p.m. Sunday.
The block hit the roof of the bus with so much force it cut straight through it creating a hole in the roof and struck 18-year-old Demere McClellan.
“I heard a big boom, I thought the bus had clipped the other bus that was passing but then a second boom came. It scared the hell out of me,” witness John Felder said. “The cinder block that came through the roof, hit his leg and broke his skin, you could see the flesh because it cut him through his pants.”
“It could have killed anybody,” said resident Ramon Torres.
McClellan was rushed to NYC Health + Hospitals/Lincoln and is expected to recover. He spoke exclusively to CBS2’s Reena Roy.
“If I was sitting two inches closer, the brick would’ve hit my head and I would’ve really died,” he said. “Right now, I’m grateful. Pray to God that I made it another day.”
McClellan says he was on his way home from basketball Sunday night around 9:30 p.m. when the cinderblock seemingly came out of nowhere near Ogden Avenue and West 166th Street.
“A big bang,” the victim said. “A piece of the bus from the roof came down and hit my leg. Once it hit my leg I said ‘ouch,’ got up and a brick came in. Everyone said get down, so I got down.”
Sitting on the floor of the BX 13 with a cut to his leg, he was rushed to the hospital in both shock and pain.
Felder said another cinder block bounced off the bus and hit the window of a nearby building.
McClellan says he rides the bus every day to either go to school or hang out with friends, and said he never expected anything like what happened. His sister, Demetria, calls the experience “terrifying.”
“That’s the only brother I’m closest to, so losing him is like losing a part of me,” she said.
Brian Burgos, who manages a supermarket next to the bus stop, said kids have been known to toss objects from a high-rise across the street.
“It’s not totally surprising, but a cinder block? That’s a little crazy,” Burgos said. “During Halloween they throw a lot of frozen eggs, stuff like that, bags of whatever they can find, they’ve thrown it onto my car.”
One mother said her young daughter has been struck on the street as well.
“I had an incident where me picking up my daughter from school and somebody threw a little rock from this building and it hit my daughter’s forehead,” she said.
McClellan says he’ll never get on an MTA bus again. He’ll opt for walking or driving around town instead. Meanwhile, he’s hoping the person responsible is caught.
No arrests have been made as investigators say they are reviewing surveillance video to pinpoint exactly where the block was thrown from.