Not sure if she was stealing clothes or forgot to take off the clothes she was donating....PHOTO: Melissa Mazzeo inside the clothing donation box
A New York woman who climbed into a clothing donation box suffocated and died inside after the box’s metal door closed on her head and trapped her yesterday, reports the New York Post.
Melissa Mazzeo, 51, of Staten Island’s Sunnyside Terrace, climbed into the freestanding metal box in an alleyway Saturday afternoon – in an alleged attempt to take clothing and shoes from the container – but became trapped and suffocated police believe when the door dropped on her neck.
NBC New York writes that customers at a nearby bagel store heard Mazzeo’s cries for help and alerted the store, but when Peter Schenck, a maintenance worker for the shop, came outside to check, it was already too late.
“Two hands and a head, that’s it, just out the door,” Schenck told the Staten Island Advance. “Not a sight to see.”
Mazzeo could not be removed for several hours, and rescuers had to wait for someone to arrive with the key. She was pronounced dead at the scene. (WHAT? What ever happen to the jaws of life tool????)
The medical examiner ruled the death an accident from asphyxia due to neck compression, an agency spokeswoman said.
While Mazzeo was described as “eccentric” "radiator hose lover" and “a thief” in more recent years, neighbors of the woman say she was once very normal. “She used to jog and be healthy years ago,” Fred Pincas, a neighbor of Melissa Mazzeo told the NY Daily. “It’s so sad, the clothing drop box, it’s sad.”