A little boy narrowly averted tragedy after he removed an AC unit from the wall and crawled out onto scaffolding seven stories above the ground.
Jeanine Malave is a mother of three who lives in the Bronx. Her three-year-old son, Jariel, has autism.
One afternoon, while she was in the kitchen, Jariel was playing in his mom’s bedroom and tugged at the AC unit. He pulled at it for several minutes until, eventually, it came loose from the frame.
Curious about the pathway he’d uncovered, he crawled through the opening and onto scaffolding outside the window.
He was seven stories above the ground.
He clambered over the planks webbing the building and made it to the opposite side unscathed.
His mom noticed that Jariel was no longer in the bedroom and immediately became worried.
“I looked left, looked right — I didn’t see my son,” Malave said.
Frantic, she checked the nanny cam that was set up in the bedroom and discovered that Jariel had slipped out.
She was terrified that he had fallen to his death outside the window.
Meanwhile, Jariel played happily on the other side of the building. Then, his neighbor, Maria Espertome, looked up from doing the dishes and saw the little boy right outside her window.
Alarmed and horrified, Espertome tried to coax the child back inside — but he was too intent on exploring his new playground.
“Give me your hand, little one. Give me your hand,” Espertome said she told Jariel.
Espertome screamed for the boy’s mom, who heard her and rushed over to the apartment.
Malave pulled her son safely in through the kitchen window.
Miraculously, the little boy was unharmed, and still has no idea that he was in such a dangerous spot.
The police were called, and the New York City Housing Authority (NYCHA) said the fault was Malave’s, not theirs.
Jariel was able to pull the AC unit away from the wall because Malave had installed the unit herself. However, that’s because NYCHA had never completed the window work. Malave asked them for weeks to professionally install the AC unit, but they never responded.
So Malave says she was forced to install it herself, as it was the height of summer.
“How many times I have to tell them, ‘I need a box, I need an AC,’” Malave said.
NYCHA said that they are investigating the situation.
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