NY Post – August 13, 2014
by Natasha Velez
This was no charity rescue.
A dimwitted thief trying to get his hands on donations inside a charity clothing bin in Upper Manhattan had to be rescued by firefighters early Tuesday — after his leg got stuck when he attempted to climb into the container, authorities said.
“It’s hurting! It’s hurting!’’ the man wailed as rescuers arrived on the scene.
The thief had apparently tried to slide himself feet-first through the narrow opening at the top of the blue bin, located on West 141st Street and Broadway in Hamilton Heights, around 4 a.m., sources said.
“It looks like he was trying to get in there to get some clothes,” an EMS source said.
But the hapless thief got stuck — and a passer-by finally took pity on him and called 911.
Firefighters arrived at the bizarre scene to find the unidentified man helplessly dangling from the bin by his leg, FDNY officials said.
Photos of the oddball incident show the man’s pained face as the rescuers worked for more than half an hour to free him.
First they lifted his body to try and release the tension on the trapped limb, with no success.
Firefighters then carefully propped the metal container on its side, using slabs of wood to support it to make sure the man’s leg wasn’t crushed.
They were finally able to release the man’s leg at around 4:30 a.m., and he was taken to Harlem Hospital in stable condition.
Police had yet to charge the man as of Tuesday evening.
The donation bin bore the words, “Through your donations we provide money to charities & give employees occupation.” A sticker slapped above the words read, “Drop clothes and shoes.”
Additional reporting by Demetrius Loadholt