NEW YORK (PIX11)—Police tape is not what customers pulling into the Icon parking garage at 21 Barclay Street expected to see at the start of their Monday morning.
Located in the shadows of the Freedom tower, the 24-hour garage was smothered with NYPD detectives, the FDNY and building officials working the scene of a garage attendant crushed to death by an SUV that rolled off its lift. An NYPD source telling PIX 11 news the victim was Victor Vizcaino of the Bronx.
The incident happened shortly after 8 a.m. in the midst of the morning rush. It wasn't until the afternoon that the vehicle left the garage minus a back window and with its paint scraped.
This news was devastating for many. One building worker from Hungary who did not want identify himself, but knew the garage attendant for nearly ten years, was stunned when heard that it was his friend who was crushed, "He was a very nice guy. Always a smile on his face. I feel sorry for his family."
Friends of the Dominican-born attendant who worked at the nearby Oliva Cafe, where Vizcaino had breakfast every morning reflected on a friend that loved to joke around. In fact, he showed his humor in the hour before his death, "He was here, and I told him, 'Where have you been, I haven't seen you for a long time? And he was like joking I was hiding from the hurricane you know.' But everyday he'd come in here? He'd come in here for breakfast," said Adrian Dopi, a cook at the Cafe.
Gerard Marini parks his vehicle every morning at the garage. In fact, he was so tight with Vizcaino, that when he was in a pickle Monday morning, he thought of calling the attendant on his personal cell, "This is crazy, but when I couldn't get down the block this morning to park my car, I do have his cell phone number on me and I was going call him to see if there was any way he can get me into the garage or something," said Marini.
The two had developed a friendship through the years over the sport they both had passion for; baseball. Marini even getting Vizcaino a jacket of his favorite player, "As a matter of fact I even got him a baseball jacket a few years ago an Albert Pujols jacket. That's what kind of a guy he was, a very good man."
Victorino, from the Bronx, is survived by three children.
During the police investigation, an Audi that was parked just steps from the entrance to the garage suddenly caught fire. By the time firefighters could put it out, flames had consumed the front end -- shooting several feet into the air.