Man falls 15 feet through New York City sidewalk sinkhole and into a rat infestation

by Peter Heck · Oct 30th, 2020 8:56 am

Last Updated Oct 30th, 2020 at 11:21 pm

A 33-year-old New York City man lived a nightmare while waiting for a bus on Saturday after he fell into a rat pit when a sinkhole opened up beneath him.

Surveillance footage shows Leonard Shoulders plummeting 15 feet into the ground after a sidewalk sinkhole spontaneously opened beneath his feet.

His fall broke several bones, but that proved to be the most pleasant part of the experience. His mother reported that as he was falling, "debris was falling and hitting him in the head." And that wasn't all.

"He was like, ‘Ma, the rats down there were ridiculous.' He was like, ‘They were like so big,'" Shoulders's mom, Cindy White, said. "He was scared to yell out because he thought they were gonna go in his mouth."

Shoulders spent roughly a half-hour in the rat pit before firefighters were able to rescue him. He kept his mouth closed and didn't make a sound, but waved his non-broken arm to signal onlookers that he was okay and awaiting rescue.

New York City's Department of Buildings believes that a rotting basement from a neighboring building led to the unfortunate accident, although most are likely to attribute it to the mere fact that it's still 2020.


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