2003-03-06 / Top Stories

Police Investigate Two Area Suicides In Last Week

By Charles Rogers

By Charles Rogers

A plainclothes police officer from the 69 Precinct adjusts the covering over the body of Julius Friedman, 78,  who plunged from the seventh floor of his building on East 98 Street last Thursday afternoon, landing in a rear courtyard.. His was the second alleged suicide in the area within a week. 		Charles RogersA plainclothes police officer from the 69 Precinct adjusts the covering over the body of Julius Friedman, 78, who plunged from the seventh floor of his building on East 98 Street last Thursday afternoon, landing in a rear courtyard.. His was the second alleged suicide in the area within a week. Charles Rogers

Police from the 69th Precinct are investigating circumstances surrounding two unrelated alleged suicides in the area within three days.

Last Thursday afternoon. Julius Friedman, 78, jumped or fell six stories from his 7th floor apartment at 1177 East 98 Street, police said.

According to Detective Robert Hardy, Friedman had a history of attempted suicide and had recently stopped taking his medication for depression.

"The victim was an Armed Forces veteran," said Hardy, "and he was being treated at the V.A. Hospital in Bay Ridge."

Friedman and his wife, Elaine, had just returned from playing bingo at a local senior citizens center when he started going around his apartment opening windows in the bedroom, living room and kitchen before falling from a living room window to the rear first floor parapet, his wife told police. He was pronounced dead at the scene by Emergency Medical Service paramedics.

Another apparent suicide took place on Saturday night off Canarsie Pier.

Detective John Mauro said that at approximately;y 10:50 p.m. March 2, Neil Williams, 48. of Brooklyn Avenue was seen jumping into the water off the pier. Witnesses heard Williams calling for help and called police, who pulled him unconscious from the frigid water. By that time, the NYPD Harbor Patrol and Emergency Service Units were on hand to assist and paramedics transported the victim to Brookdale Hospital where he was pronounced dead at 11:52 p.m.

The preliminary cause of death was believed to be hypothermia, police said, but family members later told police that Williams had been despondent regarding "mounting financial obligations." Mauro said the victim had been recently prescribed sleeping pills — with the dosage being one per day — and it was believed that he took approximately ten pills before entering the water.

Investigations are continuing in both cases, police said.

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