A boy was crushed to death while playing on top of a parking lot gate in Brownsville around 4:30 p.m. Sunday, and now, there are calls for safety changes in this neighborhood and across the city.
Police say 12-year-old Yakim McDaniels and several other boys were playing on the gate to a parking lot on Lott Avenue.
Witnesses say they would trigger the sensor opening the gate and hang on while it rose. The other boys let go, but McDaniel's hand may have become stuck, preventing him from getting off. He was pulled up into the frame and crushed.
"The little boy was just hanging down from the waist," witness Henrietta Alston said. "Up to the neck was wrapped up in that, and they had to try to cut him down to get him out."
Emergency crews cut through the metal to release McDaniels, while his horrified mother just waited.
"By the time I got out here, he was already stuck on the gate," mom Doris Chase said. "He already looked dead."
On Monday, parents and children left candles and other mementos at the base of the gate in remembrance ofMcDaniels.
McDaniels was was declared dead at the hospital. Now, some people in the community are calling for more safe recreational spaces for children. They even insisted that he might still be alive today, had there been more options.
In the wake of the accident, Omni New York Unlimited, a company that is owned in part by former New York Met Mo Vaughn said that they will take down the gate.
Many residents are calling for more basketball courts and larger parks in the area, so that kids don't have to try and play chicken with gates, but can go to the park and play like other children.
Get Eyewitness News Delivered