Staten Island Woman Dies After Being Trapped, Suffocated in Clothing Drop Box

Customers at the store tried to help the woman, but when a maintenance worker for the shop came outside to check, it was already too late.

Monday, Mar 12, 2012  |  Updated 8:07 AM EDT
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SI Woman Suffocated in Clothing Drop Box

Customers at the store tried to help the woman, but when a maintenance worker for the shop came outside to check, it was already too late.

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A woman trying to take items out of a clothing drop box on Staten Island died after the container's door dropped on her head, suffocating her.

The woman, identified by police as Melissa Mazzeo, 51, of Sunnyside Terrace, got into the clothing and shoe drop next to a bagel store on Victory Boulevard near Clove Road Saturday, reports the Staten Island Advance.
 
Customers at the store tried to help the woman, but when Peter Schenck, a maintenance worker for the shop, came outside to check, it was already too late.
 
Mazzeo was unresponsive, with her head and hands hanging out of the slot and the door pushing down on her neck.
 
"Two hands and a head, that's it, just out the door," Schenck told the paper. "Not a sight to see."
 
The woman could not be removed for several hours, and rescuers had to wait for someone to arrive with the key. 
 
Neighbors say the "eccentric" woman was well-known in the neighborhood and had taken clothes from various garment boxes before Saturday's accident.

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