Teen Falls to Death Down High-Rise Garbage Chute | NBC Chicago

Teen Falls to Death Down High-Rise Garbage Chute

The teen apparently was doing chores when he fell



    (Published Friday, Feb. 24, 2012)

    A teenage boy fell to his death through a garbage chute late Monday in a Gold Coast high-rise, police said.

    The teen, identified as 16-year-old Charlie Manley, apparently was doing chores when he fell 46 stories through the building's trash chute. Police and fire officials were called just after 11 p.m. to Astor Condominiums on the 1500 block of North Astor Street.

    The building is 48 stories tall.

    Witnesses told NBC Chicago the 16-year-old has a mental disability, and he was taking out the garbage when he may have slipped and somehow fell into the chute. The boy's body was found in the trash compactor in the basement, police said.

    A spokesman at Chicago's Department of Buildings explained that the city code was written with fire safety in mind. It requires a minimum of 18" clearance so trash can fall safely, but says nothing about maximum size or safety concerns for people or animals.

    Manley's father, John Manley, stepped down last year from the International Board of Directors for the Special Olympics, said Barbara DiGuido, a spokeswoman for the organization.

    DiGuido said the teen had an older brother and sister, and that while he trained with a gymnastics coach who worked with the Special Olympics, she said Manley did not formally participate in the organization.

    The family was devastated as they talked with police and firefighters in the lobby overnight.

    Neighbor Tommy Bernstein described Charlie as a good kid who was always friendly and cheerful to everyone in the building.

    "Everyone loved him," Bernstein said. "He would wave and say hi to everyone."

    John Manley and his wife in 2009 wrote a letter when Eunice Kennedy Shriver died to honor her work with the Special Olympics.

    "Your light has given sight to a too often blinded world. You make courage visible. You make love visible. And you make visible the potential of every single human being," they wrote.