Man swarmed by rats after falling through sinkhole in NYC

James Crump
·2-min read
The hole in the Bronx pavement that Leonard Shoulders fell down on Saturday 24 October 2020 ((CBS New York))
The hole in the Bronx pavement that Leonard Shoulders fell down on Saturday 24 October 2020 ((CBS New York))

A New York City man was swarmed by rats after he fell more than a dozen feet into a sinkhole when a pavement caved in.

Leonard Shoulders, 33, from the Bronx, New York, was waiting for a bus at 3rd Avenue on Saturday, when the pavement he was standing on collapsed, according to the Daily Mail.

He fell between 12 to 15 feet and suffered both a broken arm and leg in the incident, his brother Greg White told the New York Daily News on Monday.

Mr White said that his brother told him that he could not move as rats were crawling all over him, and added: “He didn’t scream, because he didn’t want the rats going into his mouth.”

Surveillance footage from the incident showed the moment when the pavement collapsed.

The 33-year-old initially attempted to hang onto the pavement but eventually fell into the hole below.

“He went down feet first,” Mr White said. “He was just standing and the sidewalk just — It was like a suction. Like a sinkhole. He just went down.

“He is traumatised. He said he went straight down. He said he was just falling, falling. But the debris was falling and hitting him in the head.”

Mr Shoulders’ mother Cindy White added to NBC New York: “It could have been anyone. It could have been anyone it was a whole scary situation. It was my son and thank God he's alive.”

Mr Shoulders had to wait for nearly 30 minutes before the police arrived and retrieved him from the hole. He was then taken to a local hospital.

Three businesses in the area have had to temporarily close, as a fence has been put up in the interest of public safety while crews fix the pavement.

The Department of Buildings (DOB) announced that it is investigating the incident.

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