A driver fleeing a traffic stop may have fallen to his death while leaping between rooftops to escape cops early Sunday, according to police and the walk-up’s super.
Cops found Joley Aristhee dead in the courtyard between 347 and 345 W. 48th St. in Hell’s Kitchen in Manhattan after reports of an intruder on the five-story building’s roof, the super and police sources said.
NYPD officers had tried stopping Aristhee in his car minutes earlier, around 1:50 a.m., for illegally tinted windows, police said. As the suspect was supposedly pulling over for the stop, his car struck a parked vehicle, and Aristhee then hopped out of his car and fled, authorities said.
Officers ran after him but lost him, and then while still canvassing the area for him, got a report of someone suspicious on the roof of the West 48th Street building, officials said. They went to the scene, where they heard a thud in the back courtyard and eventually found Aristhee’s body, cops said.
Aristhee was pronounced dead at the scene. The building’s super, who gave his name as Steve P., said cops told him the deceased likely got “tangled” on a spike at the top of the structure while trying to jump to the next rooftop and fell.
“He tried to cross over, and he got tangled up in that spike thing,” Steve told The Post, pointing to the roof. “That’s a deterrent for people to go to this roof.”
Adam Smith, 33, a nightlife producer who lives on first floor of 347 W. 48th St., said he saw Aristhee’s body lying in blood in the two buildings’ shared courtyard.
“They were trying to resuscitate him,” Smith said about the cops.
Aristhee was at least the second fatal jumper in the area in a week.
Last Sunday morning, former Miss USA Cheslie Kyrst, 30, leaped to her death from the 29th floor of her high-rise apartment building on West 42nd Street.
If you are struggling with suicidal thoughts or are experiencing a mental health crisis and live in New York City, you can call 1-888-NYC-WELL for free and confidential crisis counseling. If you live outside the five boroughs, you can dial the 24/7 National Suicide Prevention hotline at 1-800-273-8255 or go to SuicidePreventionLifeline.org.
Additional reporting by David Meyer