Subway maintenance worker jumps to death in front of 6 train

For nearly a decade Kelly McClain spent her days cleaning city subway stations. On Friday, she died at one. The MTA maintenance worker was killed Friday afternoon when she leapt in front of an oncoming Midtown subway train — at the exact spot where she knew the impact would certainly kill her, officials and police sources said. McClain, 45, jumped in front of a northbound 6 train at the 59th St. station about 2:45 p.m., the sources said. She died at the scene, cops said. “A lot of people said, ‘Somebody jumped! Somebody jumped!’” said Golam Nobi, 39, who was working in a kiosk nearby, but did not see the woman jump. McClain had been with the MTA since 2006, according to the Transport Workers Union Local 100. Cops were investigating her death Friday night. With Dan Rivoli, Thomas Tracey Join the Conversation: Continue Reading

Elderly Queens couple beaten up by men posing as maintenance workers; one arrested: cops

Cops have cuffed a man they claimed beat up and robbed an elderly couple in their Queens home, authorities said Thursday. Christopher Ramirez, 24, of Queens is facing robbery, burglary and assault charges for the April 23 attack on 15th Ave. in College Point. Ramirez and an unapprehended accomplice tricked their way into an 85-year-old woman and an 86-year-old man's home at about 2:30 p.m. by claiming to be maintenance workers, officials said. Once the victims opened the door, the suspects attacked the couple and ran off with an undisclosed amount of property. Paramedics rushed the two victims to New York Hospital, Queens, where they were treated for bruises to their face and body, authorities said. Join the Conversation: Continue Reading

Girl, 2, rescued by maintenance worker after stroller rolls onto subway tracks

A stroller carrying a 2-year-old girl rolled onto the tracks at a Queens subway station Monday while her mom stepped away to throw out garbage, but an alert maintenance worker jumped down and rescued the toddler, police said. The child, who got a bump on her head, is being treated at Long Island Jewish Hospital and is expected to make a full recovery. With her at the hospital is her mother, who after realizing what had happened jumped down to the tracks and sprained her ankle, police said The worker also led her to safety. The drama happened at 11:15 a.m. on the platform for the eastbound E train at the Parsons Archer station. The station is at the end of the line. Join the Conversation: Continue Reading

McDonald’s maintenance worker Jose Carillo, 81, won’t let his age keep him from waging the fight for fair wages for fast-food workers

No one personifies the exploitation fast-food employees endure day in and day out better than 81-year-old José Carrillo. “Unbelievable, New York is the capital of the world and people — good, hard-working, family people — are being paid $7.25 an hour,” said Carrillo, a Peruvian immigrant and an American citizen who, after 10 years employed at a Midtown Manhattan McDonald’s as a maintenance worker, makes all of $8.10 an hour. “I have had only a 10-cent raise in all these years.” Carrillo, a widower, came to New York in 1997 with his wife, who passed away 10 years ago. “You get used to the solitude,” he said wistfully. Despite his age, he cannot afford to retire. “Although I live alone, what I make is not enough; the cost of living keeps rising,” said Carrillo who works three days a week and takes home about $155. Still strong and energetic, Don José, as his fellow workers call him, has been on six strikes since the beginning of the fast-food workers’ movement for fair wages in 2012. They want the salaries of the 4 million fast-food workers in the country raised to $15 an hour and to have the right to join a union. “I am willing to do whatever it takes,” he said. Carrillo is one of the hundreds of fast-food workers involved in the fight against the abuses they are subjected to by multi-billion-dollar companies such as McDonald’s, Burger King, KFC, and Wendy’s. Last Sunday, standing next to Rev. Michael Walrond, Jr., senior Pastor at the historic First Corinthian Baptist Church in Harlem, Carrillo told the congregation about the sacrifices he and his co-workers are forced to make to be able to survive with their meager salaries. “If it wasn’t for food stamps and Medicare I wouldn’t be able to take care of myself,” he said. Sunday’s religious service kicked off a month of “pray-ins” by Continue Reading

School maintenance workers unsung heroes of Hurricane Sandy

Last Monday Intermediate School 118, in Manhattan’s Upper West Side, was teeming with students happy to return to classes after the terrible ordeal to which Hurricane Sandy subjected the city. Yet, the week before, their school, one of many that served as makeshift shelters for thousands of New Yorkers displaced by Sandy’s fury, had been filled with very different people. “Homeless men, drug addicts, psychiatric patients all of them coexisting with families with children, senior citizens, pets, you name it, it was pretty weird,” said Jesús Ayala, 34, who for 13 years has been a maintenance worker at that school. It was thanks to Ayala, a New York native of Puerto Rican descent, and his four cleaning crew coworkers, that the Upper West Side school was able to open its doors on Monday to welcome back the students. On Friday, to make room for the students, several buses took the people who had sought shelter at I.S. 118 to George Washington High School in Manhattan, one of eight public schools still serving as shelters for displaced New Yorkers. Behind they left a small mountain of garbage and a lingering smell of human sweat and waste. “We were back at the school Friday night and Saturday morning to make sure the school would be ready for Monday,” said Ayala, who lives in Washington Heights. “It was a lot of cleaning and hard work.” Ayala had finally left the school on Amsterdam Ave. and 93rd St. the day before (Thursday) after having spent the previous seven days, from Friday Oct. 26 until Thursday Nov. 1, working his heart out day and night to make sure it was ready to receive dozens of refugees – 168 at one point – that Sandy mercilessly forced to flee their homes. “I went home to my girlfriend and my three cats only briefly on Saturday evening, but I came back quickly because me and my crew are the only ones who know the building. I had to be here to protect our Continue Reading

Senior home maintenance worker convicted of murdering 95-year-old

A maintenance worker at a Manhattan senior home was convicted Tuesday of beating and strangling a 95-year-old resident during an apparent botched robbery in 2011. Killer Wilfred Matthews, 44, was initially suspected because he used victim Peter Lisi’s MetroCard to ride the subway, authorities said. He faces possible life in prison. His lawyer, Norman Williams said he is innocent. Join the Conversation: Continue Reading

25-to-life for Joseph Pabon, maintenance worker who killed cleaning lady in Manhattan building

A MAINTENANCE worker who suffocated a cleaning lady and stuffed her body in the air duct of a Manhattan building was sentenced Tuesday to 25 years to life in prison. “These are the acts of a despicable, soulless human being,” Manhattan prosecutor Christine Keenan said of Joseph Pabon, 28, before he was sentenced. “He showed no mercy and he deserves no mercy himself.” Pabon sat fuming in court, but said nothing to the sobbing family of his victim, Eridania Rodriguez. In 2009, Pabon hunted down Rodriguez and bound her face until she was no longer able to breathe. [email protected] Join the Conversation: Continue Reading

Eight subway signal equipment maintenance workers charged with fixing logbooks and entering fake inspection data

Manhattan prosecutors have finally pulled the brake on Signalgate. Eight subway signal equipment maintenance workers were charged Monday with fixing logbooks and entering bogus inspection data into the system at least 33 times between January 2009 and December 2010. Two NYC Transit supervisors, also charged with dummying subway inspection records and pumping up work reports, pleaded guilty Friday, according to sources. Oscar Magalong, 52, and Chandrapaul Hariprashad, 42, both pleaded guilty to a misdemeanor offense of official misconduct, and their records were sealed. One subway maintenance man, Anthony Pellegrino, 29, kept bar codes that were supposed to be affixed to signal equipment on the tracks in his locker and scanned them there instead on the track, prosecutors claim. Transport Workers Union Local 100 officials say their members were “scapegoats” and the MTA and NYC Transit had unrealistic expectations that all scheduled maintenance was expected to be performed on time. Join the Conversation: Continue Reading

NYPD maintenance worker charged with drunk-driving in fatal Harlem crash

An off-duty NYPD maintenance worker was charged with drunk driving after he struck and killed a man in Harlem Sunday night, police said. Motorist Gary Kinloch, 48, is accused of mowing down Victor Felix, 57, about 8:30 p.m. on Adam Clayton Powell Jr. Blvd. near W. 146th St., cops said. Felix, who lived just five blocks away on Frederick Douglass Blvd. near W. 142nd St., died at Harlem Hospital. Kinloch, who was behind the wheel of his 2003 silver Acura MDX, stayed at the scenefollowing the accident. His vehicle was mangled, with severe front-end damage and a shattered windshield. Kinloch was questioned at the 32nd Precinct stationhouse and charged with DWI. Join the Conversation: Continue Reading

Maintenance worker Joseph McLendon dies in Bronx propane explosion

A maintenance worker died Tuesday after the barbecue grill he was cleaning exploded outside a Bronx senior center in a huge blast that blew out nearby windows.Fire officials said Joseph McLendon, an employee of the Comprehensive Care Management Center in Bronxdale, used the wrong kind of cleaning agents on the grill, setting off a giant chemical explosion."It was a large barbecue grill, but he must have been using other ingredients to clean the grill - solvents that interacted with the propane," said Deputy Fire Chief Kevin Scanlon."It was a huge, huge blast...It's a miracle more people were not hurt."McLendon, a 38-year-old, married father of five, was taken to Jacobi Medical Center, where he was pronounced dead.McLendon's mother said she was reeling from the loss of her son, whose second wife gave birth to a baby girl two months ago."It's the most terrible thing to have to bury your child," said Barbara Wiscovitch. "I'm devastated. I'm just devastated."The 9:50 a.m. blast in the facility's parking lot blew the rear door off the White Plains Road center, overturned two 15-foot-long metal sanitation bins and shattered windows on an adjacent building. Neighbor Denise Rodriguez wondered why the grill was being cleaned so close to nearby buildings."Why would anyone leave a propane tank next to a senior center?" Rodriguez said. "Why would they do that? It puts people in danger." Join the Conversation: Continue Reading