August 30, 2013

N.Y. suspect survives 210-foot fall down garbage chute

The 26-year-old man was trying to elude police when he plunged from the 21st floor of an apartment building a few blocks from the bank he had just robbed.

The Associated Press

SYRACUSE, N.Y. — A bank robbery suspect trying to elude police searching for him in an apartment building jumped into a garbage chute and survived a 200-foot fall onto trash in the basement, police said Friday.

Robin Gutheridge, 26, plunged from the 21st floor of the Clinton Plaza Apartments, a few blocks from the Chase Bank Branch he had robbed earlier, according to Sgt. Tom Connellan.

He was conscious and told police he had climbed into the garbage chute to avoid being captured. Police estimate he fell about 210 feet before landing on garbage in a compactor at the bottom.

"He was able to slow himself down by holding the sides of chute, and the garbage may have cushioned the fall, but he did get severe injuries," Connellan said.

Firefighters moved the compactor and removed Gutheridge from the chute, police said.

Gutheridge was in critical condition Friday at Upstate University Hospital, where he was in the intensive care unit with fractures and internal injuries, Connellan said.

A phone listing for him couldn't be found, and it wasn't clear whether he had a lawyer.

Police said Gutheridge fled on foot with an undisclosed amount of cash after robbing the bank. After detectives learned he was seen entering a nearby apartment building, they began searching it. That's when a maintenance worker told them he could hear someone calling for help from a garbage chute in the basement.

When the officers checked, they found Gutheridge trapped in the compactor, Connellan said. He had some of the bank's money on him, police said.

He is under police guard at the hospital and will be charged with robbery when his condition improves, Connellan said.

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