After falling six stories from a Bronx rooftop during a cop foot chase, 17-year-old Hakeem Kuta is now fighting for his life at St. Barnabas Hospital.
According to NY Daily News, Thursday night at around 7:45 p.m., police officers were informed that a group of teenagers were smoking pot in the lobby of a building on Valentine Avenue.
“There’s kids in there smoking pot — you better go in there,” an unidentified man told police officers.
When four Bronx officers quickly entered the building, they were able to detain three of the teens but the others – including Kuta – ran.
— New York Daily News (@NYDailyNews) April 3, 2015
In lieu of leaving the building like the rest of the teens, Kuta and another 14-year-old boy ran up the stairs and made their way to the rooftop.
“Guys, just relax,” a cop told the teens while they were on the rooftop.
When the younger teen knew there was nowhere to go, he complied and was ready to surrender, but Kuta was reluctant. He stood at the edge of the building, contemplating whether or not to jump to the adjacent building.
A source stated as follows.
“It looks like he straddles something on the roof, like he was trying to propel himself so he could jump, but he starts to fall.”
“The 14-year-old runs to help him, but he can’t, and the kid falls.”
Before cops were able to react or talk him out of it, Kuta tries to jump to the next building, but he doesn’t make it. He plummeted six stories to the ground, landing on his back.
Witnesses say that when Kuta fell from the rooftop, nearby residents heard a loud boom.
The building’s super, Ricardo Santana, “heard the boom.” He stated that Kuta “fell in the back of my building. When I went out, he was on the ground face up. The police were standing over him pumping his chest. I couldn’t tell if he was dead or alive.”
Kuta no longer lives in the area, but he often returns to hang out with his old friends. He currently lives in Pelham Bay where he is a 10th grader at Dewitt Clinton High School.
“He comes over here because he used to live here,” Joshuah Gonzalez, 17, stated who is a friend of Kuta. “I was smoking with him two days ago. He comes around to smoke and hang with friends.”
Police has since closed down the area to conduct an investigation.
Although the building has surveillance, it is unclear whether or not the cameras were able to capture the entire incident.
As a result of the Bronx teen’s hard fall from the rooftop, he now remains in critical condition at St. Barnabas Hospital.
Update: It was confirmed by NY Daily News that at 10:45 a.m. Saturday morning, Hakeem Kuta died from his injuries at St. Barnabas Hospital.
[Image courtesy of Washingtonydc/Flickr]