Some Good News About New York's Uncollected Trash: It Saved A Man's Life : The Two-Way In a suicide attempt, the man jumped from the ninth floor of a building but landed on a mound of uncollected trash.
NPR logo Some Good News About New York's Uncollected Trash: It Saved A Man's Life

Some Good News About New York's Uncollected Trash: It Saved A Man's Life

After a Christmas weekend blizzard that dumped 20 inches of snow on New York City, garbage collects in piles on the sidewalk outside apartments in Brooklyn. Bebeto Matthews/AP hide caption

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Bebeto Matthews/AP

After a Christmas weekend blizzard that dumped 20 inches of snow on New York City, garbage collects in piles on the sidewalk outside apartments in Brooklyn.

Bebeto Matthews/AP

In a suicide attempt this Sunday, a 26-year-old man jumped from the ninth floor of a Manhattan building. But in a twist of fate, the man was saved by a mound of uncollected trash.

The New York Daily News reports that Vangelis Kapatos had just come out of psychiatric treatment but was facing eviction from his rent control apartment. He jumped and landed on his back but he's in stable condition at Bellevue Hospital.

As we reported earlier, New York City suspended trash collection Dec. 26th, so the streets are overflowing with bags full of rubbish. The New York Post talked to Katharina Capatos, Vangelis' aunt. She said her nephew was "lucky" that all that garbage had yet to be cleared.

As the Post says, it was just about the only good news from a blizzard that buried the city and left even ambulances at a stand-still.

New York Magazine puts the incident in cosmic perspective:

For the handful of people who were forced to wait hours upon hours for an ambulance, like the Brooklyn woman who lost her baby and the Queens woman who died after having trouble breathing, it was devastatingly tragic. But the universe has a way of balancing things out, and yesterday, the snowstorm decided to save a life for a change.

Limited trash collection is expected to resume today in Manhattan and Kapatos' next eviction hearing in Housing Court was scheduled for tomorrow.