Falling debris injures man in Yonkers

An elderly man was rushed to the hospital Friday after getting hit with falling debris from an apartment building in Yonkers.

Witnesses say bricks from the building at 47 Riverdale Ave. fell apart and tumbled to the ground. James Smoot, 75, was pinned down under the debris. Two police officers who were in a patrol car nearby at the time of the incident rushed to Smoot's aid.

"The first thing was to get the awning off of the man," says Officer Billy Celestino, of the Yonkers Police Department. "Then me and my partner each grabbed him under the arm and dragged him out."

Smoot was taken to Jacobi Medical Center with head injuries. He is listed in fair condition.

Some who live at Riverview Court say they are not shocked the incident occurred because the new owners, Related Management, did some patch-up work to the bricks about six months ago. Residents have been complaining of substandard work procedures.

"They continue to do shoddy work, and we must have a day of outrage," says Manuel Diaz, of the Tenants' Association. "We had bad owners before, but these owners are far worse."

Representatives of the management company told News 12 Westchester that Friday's brick collapse was an unfortunate accident, but they are in the process of renovating the building and will take steps to secure it.

The Yonkers Building Department will inspect the apartment building to make sure it's safe before it reopens the sidewalk to foot traffic.

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