Retractable Parking Lot Gate Responsible For Boy\’s Death

The retractable parking-lot gate that tragically killed a 12-year-old Brooklyn boy is going to be removed \”as soon as possible,\” a spokeswoman for the managers of the facility said today.

The owners of the lot and building where the boy lived — who include ex-Mets star Mo Vaughn — also have agreed to pay for the funeral of the boy, Yakim McDaniels.

Yakim got caught in the automatic gate as it rolled up while playing a dangerous game of chicken with other kids.

The decision to remove that gate in the parking facility at Plaza Residences on Lott Avenue in Brownsville came after Vaughn and his partner in Omni New York LLC, Eugene Schneur, had a conference call with Brooklyn city Councilman Charles Barron, the spokeswoman said.

\”They did have a call with Charles Barron early this morning, and they did agree to take down the gates . . . it\’s something that they\’re working on getting down as soon as possible,\” said Arleigh Hardy, a rep for Reliant Realty, which manages Plaza Residences.

Earlier, Barron had spoken to reporters at the residential complex and said that in addition to the gate being removed, he had told the owners that \”we want more recreation in this facility.\”

\”This is dangerous. This kid should be alive,\” Barron said after his phone call with the owners. \”They wouldn\’t have been playing on this if they had a basketball court or if they had some other kind of facility.

He said community members and management had met in the past about the gate and other recreational options.

\”We told the owners that we are sick and tired of having all these meetings with them,\” Barron said. \”We let them know that a tragedy could [happen] if they they didn\’t have more recreation for the children.

\”We\’ve been telling them for months to take those gates down,\” Barron said, referring to prior meetings he has had with both Vaughn and Schneur. \”I don\’t know if you\’ve been inside and you\’ve seen the internal gate. It\’s like a prison in there.

Barron also said the building managers had to know that children were playing on the parking-lot gate, which would roll up and down automatically.

Yakim died when he got caught [in] the gate and wasn\’t able to jump off like he was supposed to as part of the game. He was crushed to death when his head became wedged in the metal gate and the upper frame 20 feet above ground.

\”We know that they have cameras inside the security booth up front that can actually see what\’s going on there,\” Barron said, referring to the parking gate.

\”They know that the children play with this The should have had a security person here to check that every time a car goes by or viewing it on camera, and when they see children there they should have ran over there and gotten children away from this.\”

Hardy, the spokeswoman for the management company, said the owners already pay for summer camp for kids who live in the complex as well as for after-school programs.

And, Hardy said, \”There\’s a community garden being built\” at the complex.\”

Hardy said \”as far as I know\” the parking-lot gate was in good working order before Yakim was killed. She also said she was unaware of prior claims that children had played on the gate.

\”We extend our deepest sympathy and condolences to the family\” of Yakim, she said.

Source:  New York Post

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