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Hot dog choking death ruled homicide

October 20, 2009 2:55:25 PM PDT
A man choked to death on a hot dog over the summer, but now the accident has been re-classified as a homicide. The victim, a 65-year-old man, died when he suffered a seizure eating a hot dog at his apartment in Chelsea.

But now the Medical Examiner says Crawford's seizures were caused by an attack against him 44 years ago.

Back in July, 65-year-old Jimmie Crawford began choking in his Chelsea apartment.

Lifelong friend and neighbor Thomas Arneel ran across the hall to offer CPR.

"When I went to do that I opened up his mouth, I saw bread in his mouth so I started to take the bread out of his mouth," He said. Arneel adds, "Then I tried to turn him and I saw hot dog bread underneath him."

Crawford was eventually rushed to St. Vincent's Hospital where he was later pronounced dead. Apparently he choked to death on that hot dog.

But Monday in a shocking turn, the Medical Examiner ruled Crawford's death a homicide saying the cause was 'asphyxia due to neurological impairment following remote blunt impact of the head.'

Crawford reportedly sustained that trauma to his head 44 years ago in1965 when he was assaulted during an altercation in the village, near Charles street and Greenwhich avenue. It left him with a metal plate in his head.

So far, police aren't sure there's even a record of the decades old attack. and while Thomas Arneel remembers it, he doesn't think that killed his friend.

"I don't believe so. I believe if quick medical attention were there, he would have been alive," says Arneel.

Web Produced By: Scott Curkin

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