A woman is in the hospital with a leg that has been described as “severely deformed” after she fell three stories in a Salem apartment building into the trash chute and her leg got caught in the compactor. Police are saying that she went into the compactor to begin with, after being offered $20 to help retrieve a friend’s key.
Salem Police Lt. Matthew Desmond is calling the 38-year-old Salem, Massachusetts, woman who plunged into the trash compactor at Loring Towers “lucky” to be alive after her leg was twisted and crushed by the trash compactor in the apartment building. She has been listed as being in stable condition after she was rushed to the hospital by emergency responders on Monday.
— 7News Boston WHDH (@7News) May 17, 2016
The incident occurred at approximately 5 a.m. on Monday morning when emergency services received a desperate call for help to Loring Towers, at 1000 Loring Ave with the report that “a person who had fallen down a trash chute,” after the woman’s leg had been compacted. When Responding officer Michael Dunn arrived, he found a distraught young man by the name of Zuriel Pujols, insisting that “you have to help me” and then told the officer the tale of what had occurred.
According to North of Boston, Wicked Local the young man lived in the building and said that he had been throwing away his thrash bag earlier when his keys got tangled with it and they all went down the trash compactor. Nineteen-year-old Pujols said that he had been with a friend, Nelia Linatopi, and had asked her to help him, offering her $20 for her services.
Dunn’s report said that the man took him down to the basement where the woman was laying next to the dumpster screaming in pain with a broken leg, obviously twisted in the wrong direction. Linatopi was rushed to Massachusetts General Hospital for treatment. One resident of the Loring Towers building had expressed shock that the two had attempted to fit inside the trash chute, especially over a set of keys as the building management makes the keys there and they can be easily replaced.
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The officer spoke to the man once Nelia had been taken to get help. Pujols said he had been hanging with Linatopi earlier and she came to mind when he needed to get his keys from the trash compactor. The young man’s friend accepted his $20 offer and decided to try and squeeze herself down the tiny trash compactor chute. Their first idea to get the keys involved him holding the Salem woman’s feet and lowering her head-first into the trash chute, but that idea was not successful and they changed tactics.
Pujols then tied a sheet around the leg of the 38-year-old woman and lowered her into chute that way. Unfortunately this was even less of a success and the sheet ripped, which sent Linatopi plummeting from the third-floor trash chute and into the trash compactor below. Here, her ill-luck continued and after landing in the dumpster, the compactor started up and severely injured her leg to the point where it broke.
"The man lowered the victim into the compactor using a sheet tied to her legs. That sheet broke." https://t.co/audhygppZh
— Adam Gaffin (@universalhub) May 17, 2016
Captain Conrad Prosniewski of the Salem Police Department said that the responding officer did not see that the woman was suffering from any other injuries except for the broken leg.
The Salem News coverage stated that Captain Prosniewski indicated that a thorough investigation would be conducted into the incident. In some early reports of the incident, the department was not releasing the names of the individuals as it had not been determined if charges would be filed against the young man who lowered the victim into the trash compactor.
However, the police have decided not to file charges against either person involved. Prosniewski does however suggest that contacting building management if items are lost down a trash chute is the better solution.
[Photo Courtesy of YouTube Screencap]