A Manhattan doorman fell through a plate-glass window to his death Thursday morning while shoveling snow, police said, the first snow-related death during this storm in the city.
Miguel Gonzalez, 59, was shoveling outside of the apartment building where he worked on East 93rd Street, between First and Second avenues, at about 9:30 a.m. when he fell through the glass.
Gonzalez, from Bridgeport, Connecticut, was transported to Metropolitan Hospital Center in cardiac arrest, an FDNY spokesman said. He suffered lacerations to his neck and face, and was pronounced dead at the hospital, police said.
“His buddy, he asked for help,” said Mike Gacevic, 54, who works next door and was shoveling snow at the time. “He said ‘please help me, my co-worker fell down, he hurt himself so bad.’ I don’t want to see anybody get hurt.”
Gacevic said Gonzalez was originally from Puerto Rico and was looking to retire in a year or two. He said he left his house every day in the early morning hours to get to work.
“He’s the best, very nice guy,” he added. “We’re going to miss him.”
Denice Rich, 65, lives in a building across the street and said Gonzalez was always very friendly and would go out of his way for people. She said he worked in the building for many years.
“He touched many people in a very positive way,” said Rich, who added she called Gonzalez by his nickname, uncle Mickey. “His family should feel comfort in knowing that so many people are going to miss him and so many people were really touched by him.
“Overall just a very kind soul,” she added. “My condolences to his family.”
Hector Figueroa, president of 32BJ, the largest union of property service workers in the country, said the union was “deeply saddened” by Gonzalez’s death.
“Our thoughts and prayers are with his wife and children and all those who knew and cared about him, including his co-workers and the residents of his building,” Figueroa said in a statement. “Our union family will do all we can to support Miguel’s family in this difficult time. Our thoughts and prayers also go out to all members working hard to keep us safe during this blizzard and every day.”
A spokeswoman for Mount Sinai, which owns the building, said Gonzalez had worked there for more than three decades.
“We are deeply saddened by the tragic loss of Miguel Gonzalez, a beloved employee at Mount Sinai for more than 35 years,” the spokeswoman said in a statement. “We want to express our heart-felt sympathy to his family, friends and colleagues.”
Mayor Bill de Blasio said Gonzalez’s death was a “reminder” of why people need to be careful.
“It’s a very, very sad situation,” de Blasio said during a news briefing about the storm. “We don’t know what happened in this case, but that’s just a good reminder why people have to take it seriously.”
In an unrelated incident, an 85-year old man died in Queens when he slipped and fell before 2: 25 p.m., police said.
The man, who was not immediately identified, was in the parking lot of a residential building on Beach 19th Street in Far Rockaway. He was taken to St. John’s Episcopal Hospital where he was pronounced dead.