Tot killed in fall at church HQ

A 3-year-old boy crawled past an air conditioner, slipped out a window and plunged 40 feet to his death at the Unification Church‘s Manhattan headquarters last night, police said.

The tyke was missing for a half-hour before a window washer found his limp body on some scaffolding at 4 W. 43rd St. around 10 p.m., sources said.

He was rushed to St. Vincent’s Medical Center in critical condition with massive head injuries, but doctors there couldn’t save his life.

The tragedy happened on the sixth floor of a building shared by the Church of Scientology and the Rev. Sun Myung Moon’s Unification Church, whose followers are sometimes called Moonies.

The boy lived in one of the Unification Church’s single-room apartments, and he was being watched by a female baby-sitter while his father was at work and his mother was out of the country, sources said.

At some point, the child either wandered away from his caretaker or was left alone, and an air conditioner installed in a window caught his eye.

He managed to push aside the accordion-style panel between the AC casing and the window frame, wriggle through the space and fall to the scaffolding on the second floor.

“I saw the firemen take the kid out on a stretcher. It was terrible, so sad,” said one witness who was attending a Scientology event on the first floor when the boy fell.

The boy’s father rushed back to the city from his job in Connecticut and had not yet been told his son died of his injuries.

The incident was under investigation, but police said there was no indication of foul play.

Calls to the Unification Church, a controversial sect that arranges mass marriages of strangers, were not returned.


(Listed if other than Religion News Blog, or if not shown above)
New York Daily News, USA
July 10, 2004
Kerry Burke, Tony Sclafini, and Tracy Connor, Daily News Staff Writers
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Religion News Blog posted this on Saturday July 10, 2004.
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