Tonight I had dinner with a friend from Middleburg and his roommate from Ole Miss. We ate dinner in the always charming Hell’s Kitchen – home to Apt. 1E and a variety of delightful Mexican restaurants. Roommate Amy came to say hello and joined us at the restaurant for a bit, and then we decided to call it an early night and head home.
Just a block from the restaurant, we encountered not one, not two, but FOUR satellite news trucks. Certainly something significant must have happened, we reasoned aloud, but there didn’t seem to be any ruckus or mischief afoot. There were no fire trucks or ambulances, just the incredibly conspicuous news vehicles. Amy and I peered into all the nearby establishments looking for a scoop, but found nothing.
After some back and forth about should we or shouldn’t we ask what happened (Amy works in TV and HATES when people ask what she’s filming), Amy hollered at a news truck driver and he excitedly dished what will certainly make national news.
From the Associated Press: 9:47 PM
NEW YORK -- Two men were arrested Tuesday after wheeling a dead man (YES, YOU READ THAT RIGHT) through the streets in an office chair (IN AN OFFICE CHAIR!) to a check-cashing store and trying to cash his Social Security check, police said.
David J. Dalaia and James O'Hare pushed Virgilio Cintron's body from the Manhattan apartment (ON OUR AVENUE!) O'Hare and Cintron shared about a block away to Pay-O-Matic, spokesman Paul Browne said witnesses told police.
"The witnesses saw the two pushing the chair with Cintron flopping from side to side and the two individuals propping him up and keeping him from flopping from side to side," Browne said. (OMG OMG OMG. THANK GOD THE WAITRESS TOOK 45 MINUTES TO BRING THE CHECK OR WE WOULD HAVE RUN INTO THEM!)
The men left Cintron's body outside the store, went inside and tried to cash his $355 check, Browne said. The store's clerk, who knew Cintron, asked the men where he was, and O'Hare told the clerk they would go and get him, Browne said.
A police detective who was having lunch at a restaurant next to the check-cashing store noticed a crowd forming around Cintron's body and "it's immediately apparent to him that Cintron is dead," Browne said.
The detective called uniformed New York Police Department officers at a nearby precinct. Emergency Medical Services technicians arrived as O'Hare and Dalaia were preparing to wheel Cintron's body into the check-cashing store, Browne said. Police arrested Dalaia and O'Hare at the store, he said.
Cintron's body was taken to a hospital morgue. The medical examiner's office told police it appeared Cintron, 66, died from natural causes within the previous 24 hours, Browne said.
"He was deceased in the apartment when he was removed by these two," Browne said.
After hearing the whole story, we stood there completely confounded. We snickered a little because, I mean, WHAT?! A dead man was wheeled in an office chair through our neighborhood for check cashing purposes. Say that out loud and see what your coworkers or family members say! Absurdity!
We came home and animatedly spilled the story to Kelly and Erin who were watching TV in the living room. When the 10 o’clock news came on, guess what the top story was? The dead check cashing office chair guy story, natch! We saved the news on Tivo where it will remain as long as we live in Apt. 1E. We must share it with all visitors who dare to set foot in Hell’s Kitchen!
RIP Office Chair Guy.