Bronx News
Aug 31, 2017

BRONX NEWS: Teen dies after fall from fifth-story fire escape in the Bronx

A 15-year-old boy smoking on his Bronx fire escape died Thursday morning after falling five stories into an alley, police said.

Leonardo (Lenny) Marmolejos fell from the fire escape that runs down the back of his apartment building on Briggs Ave. near E. 199th St. in Fordham Manor about 6:15 a.m., cops said.

Wearing only pajamas, he landed in an alley.

A neighbor found him face down on the ground and called 911.

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Medics rushed the teen in traumatic arrest to St. Barnabas Hospital, where he later died.

His heartbroken father raced to the building Thursday morning cradling a cellphone picture of his dead son.

“He just made 15,” Leonardo Marmolejos Sr. said between heart-rending sobs outside his ex-wife’s Briggs Ave. building. “I say to him, ‘Papi, you so handsome.’”

“Lenny is a Xerox copy of me,” said the 62-year-old Army veteran, who served in the Vietnam War. “If you saw me when I was 15 you couldn’t tell us apart. (He) was a beautiful kid, obedient, respectful, never got no complaint from him in school.”

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“He was such a good kid,” he said.

The high school sophomore with dreams of playing in the NBA lived on the building’s fifth floor with his mother and grandmother, police sources said.

After learning of the accident, his mom began suffering chest pains and was taken to the same hospital as her son.

Lenny’s mom, who is recovering in the hospital, last saw her child in his bedroom about 1:20 a.m., sources said. The fire escape is connected to his bedroom window.

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Investigators believe he propped open the window and climbed out onto the fire escape to smoke — news that left his father with more questions.

“What happened?” his father asked. “I always told him, ‘Lenny, do something because you want to do it, don’t do it because of peer pressure.’”

“I told him it’s a tough environment but you have to mind your business,” he said. “I said stay away from those bad kids and you’re going to make it.”

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Teen dies after fall from fifth-story fire escape in the Bronx

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