A teen accused of shoplifting and the Target security guard who was trying to stop him were hospitalized on Thursday after falling down an elevator shaft in the Bronx Thursday morning, officials said.
Police said it was shortly after 11 a.m. when a 16-year-old boy was being escorted away from the Bronx Terminal Market store at 700 Exterior St. by a 29-year-old security guard after he was presumed to be caught attempting to shoplift. A physical altercation forced them up against an elevator door, causing the doors to open, sending the two of them down the elevator shaft.
Firefighters and paramedics responded to the scene to rescue them both from the elevator shaft, a spokesperson for the FDNY said. FDNY Deputy Assistant Chief John Sarrocco said one of them fell on top of the elevator while the other fell past the elevator into an elevator pit.
“The second victim was a little more difficult [of an] operation. He was underneath the elevator, we had to secure the elevator, set the brake,” Sarrocco said. “We sent our members and rescue paramedics down below to treat that victim. We had to breach a wall and set up a mechanical advantage in order to lift the person out of the elevator pit, which was approximately 10 to 15 feet below the car.”
The 16-year-old was taken to Harlem Hospital and the 29-year-old to Lincoln Medical Center, both with injuries to their bodies and heads, officials said.
No charges had been filed as of Thursday afternoon.
“Our hearts go out to those who were injured in this tragic incident at Bronx Terminal Market earlier today, which included a Target team member,” a Target spokesperson said in a statement to Gothamist. “We’re grateful to the FDNY and NYPD for their fast response. The incident occurred in an elevator shaft adjacent to our store’s entrance, and along with the mall owners. We’re fully cooperating with the NYPD on their investigation.”
This article was updated to include comment from a Target spokesperson.