1999-06-26 / Letters

Water Balloon Danger

Dear Editor;

A profoundly upsetting incident involving myself and my family occurred in Far Rockaway-just in the wake of the already scathing controversy concerning the extreme dangers at the highrise apartments at 125 Beach 17 street. Local residents might recall that there was an elevator fire there a few weeks ago that have since rendered the building of more than 20 stories dependent on only one elevator to service all of its residents for the next six months. Yet the problems at that building go beyond even that.

My brand-new automobile, a Honda Accord, was parked just outside of the building for merely 45 minutes during which time I was inside one of the apartments. Upon my return, I was astounded to find that the rear window had been bashed in-leaving glass shards and enormous glass chunks all over its exterior and interior. I immediately summoned police and was even further shocked to find that they determined from remnants of latex and water on the backseat, that the "culprit" had been a water balloon quite obviously thrown from one of the apartment terraces.

Seemingly curious passerby’s commented to me and to police that this incident was one of only many that they are aware of involving objects flung from terraces onto the sidewalk and street-some even said bricks have one occasion been thrown.

One has to wonder how in the world so much damage, expense, and heartache can arise out of a water balloon, but the greater question rests with the lack of discipline involved with the explanation and understanding of the common law of physics to children (and adults) who obviously do not know that any object, small or large, thrown from a great height, will travel with enough velocity to its inevitable landing place, to render extraordinary damage-in some cases, even death.

Though I am a woman who is grateful for matters that "aren’t worse," I cannot escape the reality that had my family been in the car when this balloon was flung, the medical damage would have far exceeded the vehicle’s damages. Since the person who threw the object in my case cannot be identified, I intend to see to it that the building be held responsible for this loss and that I see remuneration for my damages. Perhaps if enough monies are paid out by insurance companies for damages arising out of senseless incidents concerning people injured and property damaged from ill-behaved tenants, then this behavior will not go unnoticed by the tenants themselves, when the monies paid by the insurers become great enough to be reflected in their rents.

I must say though, that in retrospect, the real culprit in this incident was not the water balloon per se, but rather, the extreme recklessness and lack of common sense that rests in the hands of the person from whom it was thrown.





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