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Air Conditioner Falls Onto Man In Manhattan

NEW YORK (CBS 2) -- An air conditioner plunged from a building and slammed onto a man who was just walking below in Manhattan Tuesday morning.

Tony Franzese, 67, was walking his dog around 8:30 a.m. as he did every morning. That's when an air conditioner fell out of a 6th floor window at 2nd Avenue and 3rd Street and landed on an awning -- apparently bouncing off and hitting Franzese in the head.

Franzese suffered a severe head laceration and was taken to Bellevue Hospital.

Carmen Barreto lived in the building for 38 years and told CBS 2's Mark Morgan her son helped clean blood off the victim.

"He was very upset and nervous. He said 'Ma, the air conditioner fall down onto the head' and I said 'My God he must be dead'," she explained.

"He sits here with the dog. He has a little glass of wine. He's friends with the owner of the place here, and he's a very nice man," said resident Rachel Costa.

"I heard the crash, like the boom bam bam...I looked over and see the air conditioner rolling and the guy like stumbling trying to get up..and he went to try and get his dog..he was more concerned about the dog than anything," witness Rashaan Betts said.

One tenant told Morgan that the resident in question told her, in his words, "the window just flew open."

CBS 2 also learned that inspectors for the city's Department of Buildings found that the air conditioner was not supported properly.

A violation was issued to the owner of the building -- Zenon Chernyk -- for failing to properly maintain the building.  Chernyck was told to make sure all air conditioning units were immediately secured with metal brackets or the units would be removed.

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