NEW YORK (CBSNewYork) — A man was looking for answers Thursday, after a trip to the movie theater almost ended up costing a man his foot.
As CBS2’s Marc Liverman reported exclusively, the man got stuck riding up an escalator, and he wants an apology too.
It all happened around 8 p.m. Wednesday at the AMC 84th Street 6, at 2310 Broadway at 84th Street. It looked like business as usual at the theater late Thursday afternoon, but that was hardly the case the night before.
“I really was worried I was going to lose my foot,” said James Alston. “I was hollering and screaming.”
In the exclusive interview from his apartment in East Harlem, Alston, 71, described what amounted to the most terrifying moments of his life.
“The escalator, when I got near the top, it started breaking up,” he said.
Video at the scene showed the chaos of what happened next. Alston was taking the escalator inside the theater on the way to watch a movie with his family, and all of a sudden, he said it looked like the escalator bounced.
“I moved my right foot back, but it caught the left foot — and I was stuck there,” Alston said.
For what seemed like close to 15 minutes, his entire foot ended up lodged inside the escalator.
“I was hollering and screaming, ‘Please, get this off me!’” Alston said.
Firefighters and paramedics rushed to the scene. Alston said they were able to cut the step just enough to free his foot.
Alston was taken to the hospital, where he said he stayed overnight. A bandage was placed around his foot and ankle, in what amounted to incredibly bad luck for a man who before the accident was just starting to walk again after a previous long-term foot injury.
“It took a long time for me to get on a walker,” he said. “I was on a scooter. It took a long time to get to the walker, and I thought I was doing great, and all of a sudden, boom.”
Alston said so far, he has not heard anything from AMC about the incident. And he said he was angry.
“Yes I am, because I can’t believe that this would happen to a person just going to a movie,” Alston said.
Now he wants more than just an apology.
“I think they should really compensate me well behind something like that, because I could have lost my foot,” Alston said.
CBS2 reached out to the Department of Buildings, who said the types of escalators found in the theater are inspected twice a year. The one that caught Alston’s foot was last inspected in September and was up to code.
CBS2 reached out to AMC to find out why or how this could happen, but as of late Thursday, there had been no response.