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Window washer falls to death from East Village building

East village building fall
East Village building fall
Posted at 3:30 PM, Jan 26, 2022
and last updated 2022-01-27 17:21:17-05

SAN DIEGO (KGTV) — On Wednesday, the San Diego Police Department began investigating a fatal incident that involved a man falling to his death from a building.

"I looked up and I saw a man, a cart and a rope,” said witness Marchella Minafee.

"I just broke down crying because I had never seen anything like that, you know, real. It was a gruesome sight,” Paul Longanbach, Building Resident

According to the SDPD, the call came in shortly before 11:50 a.m. Officers responded to Saint Teresa of Calcutta Villa located at 14th and Commercial Street in the East Village.

"Everyone started running over there. And I was yelling call 911 because my phone was dead. Then I could hear the security guard was calling; saying send an ambulance,” said Minafee.

Cal/OSHA told ABC 10News the incident involved an employee from Sky High Window Cleaning. SDPD declared the person dead at the scene.

The building is an affordable housing community run by Father Joe’s Villages.

The organization and Chelsea Investment Corporation sent ABC 10News the following joint statement:

“As partners in the development of Saint Teresa of Calcutta Villa, we are very saddened to learn about the accidental death of a subcontractor employee during the final phase of construction. From our team, we extend our heartfelt prayers and deepest condolences to the victim’s family, friends, and colleagues. As a close-knit community, we understand the impact that this tragedy will have on the family and loved ones, and on the lives of all of our partners involved in this project.”

Longanbach said that he had spoken to a window washer cleaning his window on Tuesday prior to the incident.

He believes Wednesday’s victim and the worker he spoke on Tuesday are the same person.

"It surprised me, and I go ‘Oh my gosh!’ And I opened my window or cracked it and I go, ‘Aren't you scared on that thing?’ I shouldn't have been bothering him but he goes, ‘Oh sometimes,’” said Longanbach.

As investigators look into what happened, many in this community are left stunned and saddened.

"I'm trying to ask myself why? Why did I see that? I know trauma. That was very traumatizing,” said Minafee.

"I broke down, you know. I cried and I prayed for his family. I hope, you know, God rest his soul,” said Longanbach.

ABC 10News called and email Sky High Window Cleaning regarding the incident. As of Wednesday evening we have yet to hear back.