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A young Flushing resident who was severely injured and nearly garroted by a razor-sharp kite string while skateboarding Oct. 9, 2008, is suing the city Parks Department and the owner of his family’s co-op for unspecified damages, according to the lawsuit.
The string, which was encrusted with glass in order to be used for the South Asian sport of kiting and strung across two buildings in the rear of the co-op, cut Jared Kopeloff across the throat, leaving a long scar and, according to the New York Post, causing him to lose two lymph nodes and to need 400 to 500 stitches.
The boy, who was 12 at the time of the incident, and his family are now suing the owner of the co-op at 69-34 140th St., Joyce Equities Inc., for failing to ensure that the area around the co-op was sufficiently inspected and for being reckless and careless in taking care of the premises, according to the suit, which was filed Sept. 21 in Queens Supreme Court.
“They did not provide a clean and safe walkway,” said Kopeloff’s lawyer, Roy Silverberg.
The Kopeloffs’ complaint against the Parks Department centered around the concept that its staff was aware that kiting, or kite-fighting, was occurring and that they failed to put a stop to it, instead permitting it to continue at Kissena and Flushing Meadows Corona parks, according to the lawsuit.
“They knew it’s happening. They’re allowing people to fly a kite in a park with string encrusted with glass. This is outrageous that it’s happening here. There have been incidents in Afghanistan where people lost fingers. It’s just a matter of time before another serious injury occurs,” said Silverberg. “It’s very dangerous. It’s ridiculous.”
The string had been left hanging between the buildings after being severed by a competing kite in a kiting duel, according to the New York Post, and clotheslined him, burying in the flesh of his throat.
“I heard a noise like bees,” Kopeloff told the Post. “I thought I went into a beehive. Going down I felt something on my neck.”
He was thrown to the ground and neighbors came to his side to help, one of whom took off his shirt and tried to slow the heavy bleeding by pressing it against Kopeloff’s neck, according to the Post.
He was taken to the hospital, where Jared said a doctor said he put in “a million stitches,” according to the Post.
A kite and about 300 yards of sharpened line were found on the roof of the co-op by police, Kopeloff’s father told the Post.
“This was a tragic accident,” a spokeswoman for the city Law Department told the Post. “We have received the lawsuit and are unable to comment further because of the pending litigation.”
A man who answered the telephone Monday evening at Jared Kopeloff’s residence said that the family had no comment on the lawsuit.
Reach reporter Connor Adams Sheets by e-mail at email@example.com or by phone at 718-229-0300, Ext. 138.
©2009 Community Newspaper Group
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