A 67-year old man was rushed to Bellevue Hospital earlier today after an air conditioner came crashing from the 6th floor of a building on 2nd Avenue, falling on top of him. At around 8:30am, Tony Franzese was walking his dog, near 3rd Street, in front of the restaurant, Winebar. The air conditioning unit apparently hit an awning before bouncing off and striking Franzese. Channel 2 reported he suffered a head wound. A resident, Adrianna Grezak, shot video of the aftermath. An Eater tipster also appeared on the scene for the aftermath, but couldn’t get anyone to talk to him.
UPDATE 2:49PM – More from the Post:
The air conditioner fell from the apartment of Bruce Fuller, 49, a neighbor who says he regularly takes care of Franzese’s pet Shih Tzu. “I don’t know how it fell. But I feel very guilty,” Fuller told the Post. “He is a nice man, and gave me his spare key. I am going to make sure the dog is taken care of when he’s in the hospital.” According to neighbors, Franzese is a Vietnam veteran who was recently evicted from his apartment on the third floor and was supposed to have vacated by this Thursday. Court papers confirm an eviction case against him. Hours after the incident, building inspectors slapped citations on the building’s owner, ordering that air conditioners brackets be immediately installed or that the units be removed. Raymond Azzi, the owner of the Wine Bar, said the his awning may have saved several people’s lives. We are lucky it was down,” he said. “It protected whoever was here and definitely saved the man’s life. Thank god nobody was killed.”