SYRACUSE, NY (NCC NEWS)- On 599 South Salina St., a woman was getting off a bus at the Centro Transit Hub. Keleigh Webber, 34, of Syracuse, fell 15 feet into a manhole because the grate had been taken off.
“Around 4:15, p.m. there were reports that a lady had fallen into a sewer drain,” said Syracuse police spokesman Lieutenant Matthew Malinowski exclusively to NCC News.
“Come to find out that a male suspect actually taken the lid off the sewer drain before and flooded the area, and she fell right in,” said Malinowski.
Stuart Seidel, 45, also a Syracuse native, was charged with first-degree reckless endangerment for removing the grate. No motive has been released. He is currently being held in the the Onondaga County Justice Center.
Malinowski says the suspect was caught quickly after gathering information and arrested.
“I don’t want anyone to live in fear, but the reality is when you are walking on the sidewalk, you have to pay attention, but there is a very slim chance that you walk across grates or any other thing,” said Malinowski, like sewer drains that those items could potentially fail which is very rare.”
After speaking with Syracuse bus passengers, they believe that the community is not looking out for each other and being aware of their surroundings. One added that they would sue the city.
“It’s the city’s fault; storm drains should be covered up,” one bus passenger said who did not want to reveal their identity. “If you are not paying attention, it can easily happened”
A Syracuse resident who wished to remain anonymous said that the North Side of Syracuse has an ignorance problem when it comes to things like this.
Other bus officials are frustrated that the Centro officials did not see the manhole uncovered as they walk by.
The police department and Centro Bus officials have this problem on their radar. The victim suffered non-life-threatening injuries and was taken to Upstate University Hospital.