NEW YORK (FOX 5 NY) - Elevator B at 131 Broome Street, remains out of service, after 25 year old Stephen Hewitt Brown was crushed to death trying to escape the stalled lift.
Around 10 people were in the elevator just before midnight on New Year's Eve including Erude Sanchez and her 10 year old nephew Angel Peguero when the elevator got stuck between the 2 and 3 floors.
"He was trying to help my aunt get out" Angel said.
Brown, who lived in the Bronx but was visiting the building for a New Years party, pushed Sanchez up to safety on the third floor through the open elevator doors, but then witnesses say the lift started moving. Brown was then crushed in the shaft.
The frantic elevator occupants called for help.
Although the 7th precinct is directly across the street from the building, residents say it took first responders more than 20 minutes to arrive.
By then, Brown was in traumatic arrest. He died shortly later at A nearby hospital.
Erude Sanchez told us she is extremely grateful Brown pushed her to safety but feels terrible.
"He saved her life" Erude said.
Residents and regular visitors to the building tell us the elevators here are plagued with problems.
"I'm scared to even use the elevator" one resident told us.
According to the Buildings Department, the management company Wavecrest has been hit with more than 40 elevator violations since 2009.
In fact, there are three open violations dating back to May 2014. All of the violations were due to defects with the elevator. We reached out to Wavecrest management but have received no word back yet.