A Brooklyn grand jury indicted Jason Jordan, an elevator maintenance man, on felony assault and reckless endangerment charges in December 2011 for allegedly causing an elevator accident that severely injured a woman’s arm and leg. In addition to causing the accident, prosecutors accused Jordan of fleeing the accident scene “without saying a word or offering help” to the victim. The woman, whose leg was badly mangled after being dragged outside of the elevator for eight floors, was hospitalized for three months and had to be treated at a long-term rehabilitation facility. She also suffered from psychological trauma and now fears riding in an elevator.
On Christmas Day in 2010, Debra Jordan, who is not related to the elevator mechanic, was visiting a sick friend with her daughter at SUNY Downstate Medical Center in Brooklyn. A video surveillance camera showed Ms. Jordan entering the elevator. However, before the doors were even closed, the elevator shot upward for eight floors while Jordan’s left arm and leg hung outside of the cab. Prosecutors stated that Mr. Jordan, the mechanic, took a shortcut to repair the elevator and bypassed a safety mechanism designed to prevent the elevator from moving with the doors open. The Brooklyn District Attorney stated, “Screams could be heard throughout the hospital as she passed each floor, unable to free herself from this nightmare…what happened to Ms. Jordan was a direct result of the criminal conduct of the defendant.” Surveillance video captured the mechanic looking up the elevator shaft at the screaming woman and then quickly exiting the building.
When firefighters and emergency personnel arrived on the scene, they had to first stabilize the elevator with clamps. They also had to apply a tourniquet to the woman’s badly bleeding and almost severed leg. For nearly one hour, emergency responders used a gas-powered chainsaw to cut pieces of the elevator and sections of the floor. When she was finally freed, Ms. Jordan was rushed to Kings County Hospital where she underwent emergency surgery.
A person who witnessed the rescues stated, “A big chunk of her leg was missing. It looked like someone ripped it open with a knife.” The witness also stated that the victim’s foot appeared to be partially severed. While Ms. Jordan didn’t need to undergo an amputation, her left arm and leg sustained multiple fractures as the result of the accident.
The Brooklyn DA’s office pointed out that current New York State laws and regulations do not require elevator maintenance workers to be licensed or certified. Keith Wright, an assemblyman from Manhattan, stated that he is seeking to introduce a bill to require elevator mechanics to be properly trained to prevent future accidents.
Woman’s leg ‘mangled’ as she’s caught in elevator shaft, dragged up eight floors in Holiday horror, NY Daily News, Joe Kemp, December 26, 2010
2010 Brooklyn Elevator Injury Leads to Repairman’s Indictment, NY Times, Liz Robbins, December 15, 2011