Exclusive: Man credits cell phone with stopping bullet

October 8, 2010 3:30:31 AM PDT
A New York man credits his Nextel cell phone with stopping a bullet from a gun that was fired at him. He spoke exclusively to Eyewitness News.

Juan Camarena says his cell phone saved his life.

The 54-year-old surprisingly only has a scratch on his stomach, because his Nextel stood between him and a bullet.

The shooter, he says, was a recently fired building super who he and his boss replaced.

Camarena just started his new job as a handyman at 29 west 119th street in Harlem.

The building's new super brought him on board, but warned him the former super was angry about being fired and losing his apartment.

That ex-super allegedly threatened them, saying "You'll save yourself a lot of trouble by not working here."

The pair brushed off that threat, and both worked in the building Thursday morning.

Camarena says the man confronted him in the stairwell between the second and third floors.

"He said to me, 'You have to get the f*** out here right now,' with his hand in his pocket," Camarena said. "When we go to put away the broom, the guy takes [the gun] out of his pocket and bang, shoots."

A renter in the building said he heard a loud bang in the hallway and someone yell that they had been shot.

Luckily, Camarena's Nextel was in his jacket pocket. It took the bullet and he only sustained the scratch.

The handyman says the shooter was just five feet away.

Police have video footage of the shooter leaving the scene and are working to catch him quickly.

"I'm still alive, thank God," Camarena said. "That Nextel saved me."


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