Bronx building under investigation for proper safeguards after 9-year-old Miguel Ramos fell to death from 4th-floor window
NEW YORK -- After 9-year-old Miguel Ramos became the third child to fall out of a window in New York City in the past five weeks, CBS2 has learned the city isn't citing nearly as many landlords as they used to on a key safety law.
Inspectors are looking into whether the building's landlord had installed the proper safeguards. This is not the first time the city sent inspectors to this building.
Investigators said Ramos climbed out of a 4th-floor window and fell to his death on Sunday. Neighbors in the Mount Hope section were heartbroken, and puzzled, by the boy's death.
"He was a beautiful child," said Valerie Robinson, a neighbor. "Any house that has a kid is supposed to have safeguards in it."
"Not see him not more is gonna be like, damn," said Braily Rodriguez, another neighbor.
New York City law requires landlords to install window guards in apartments where children 10 or younger live.
While most window guards don't fit with an air conditioner, Ernesto Cappello, CEO of WindowFix, says landlords still need to ensure there are no gaps big enough for a child to get out.
"Size is very important, and position," said Cappello.
The city's health department says AC units should be permanently bolted into the window in apartments with kids.
"We are deeply saddened by this incident and will work with partner agencies to determine how an event like this can be prevented in the future," the health department said in a statement.
"It's kind of foolish because it's not a big dollar value and it's not a hard thing to do," said Cappello.
City records show 94 open violations for other issues at the building in Mount Hope, including one from 2020 for missing or broken window guards on the 2nd floor.
Citywide, data shows the Department of Housing Preservation and Development is issuing fewer violations for missing or broken window guards than a few years go.
There were nearly 12,000 violations in 2018 and more than 12,800 in 2019. In 2022, there were about 7,400 violations, the fewest since 2012.
"Maybe they assume that landlords are doing it anyway, but it seems to be neglected at this time," said Cappello.
Last year, someone on the 6th floor made a complaint about window guards. According to sources, inspectors were not able to gain access to the apartment and a violation was never issued.
Anytime there's an inspection, an HPD spokesperson said they ask if there's a child 10 or younger and check for properly-installed window guards.
CBS2 has made several attempts to contact the landlord of the building where Ramos fell. We'll update our reporting if we hear back.
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