Thursday, May 1, 2003

Toddler survives 5-story plunge

Boy in fair condition at Children's Hospital

By Erica Solvig
The Cincinnati Enquirer

[IMAGE] A Cincinnati District 3 police officer walks past the spot where an 18-month-old boy landed Wednesday. He fell from a fifth-floor window.
(Glenn Hartong photo)
| ZOOM |
An 18-month-old Westwood boy was in fair condition Wednesday night after falling from his fifth-floor apartment window.

The child, who neighbors said was named Elijah, was apparently playing near the window in his apartment on East Tower Drive in Westwood. He fell through a screened window shortly before 11:30 a.m., according to police.

"He had climbed up on something," said Cleopatra Hall, who lives down the hall from the family and rushed to the scene when a friend told her what happened.

"He's just barely toddling," she said. "He's a little, bitty tiny thing."

The boy landed on grass near a pile of gardening equipment and a row of potted tomato plants, each with tall wooden stakes . He was conscious when the emergency squad took him to Cincinnati Children's Hospital Medical Center.

His grandmother rode to the hospital with him.

A hospital spokesman said family members declined media requests for an interview. A family member at the apartment building Wednesday evening also declined comment.

No charges had been filed.

Police did not release any other details Wednesday night.

Neighbors said the family had lived in the building since Elijah's mother was pregnant.

They said he is an only child, and the family was always friendly to others who lived in the Four Towers apartment complex.

The boy would occasionally walk down the hall and if the apartment door was open, Elijah would come in and visit 89-year-old Hall, who has lived in the building about 25 years.

"Elijah came in here and grabbed that little rabbit," she said, pointing to a stuffed animal on the couch. "I said, 'You can't have my rabbit.' So he reached over to the candy dish."

For Easter, Hall said she gave him a stuffed animal for his own.

"He's such a cute little fellow," she said.


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