2012-06-29 / Top Stories

El Plunge Mystery Grows

By Howard Schwach


Francisco Calderon tried to jump to the roof of this self-storage facility from the A Train El at Beach 88 Street and died in the attempt. Francisco Calderon tried to jump to the roof of this self-storage facility from the A Train El at Beach 88 Street and died in the attempt. Francisco Calderon would have been 22 on Tuesday had he not tried to climb the fence and plunged from the Rockaway subway El at Beach 88 Street to his death on June 20.

As with many deaths that seem to make no sense, there are many stories swirling around Calderon’s death.

Official police sources told The Wave last week that transit officers had stopped all of the trains on the Rockaway line looking for a group of men who had beaten and robbed a 15-year-old teen at the Beach 105 Street station a short time before. The teen was able to provide a description of his assailants and cops were searching all the trains on the line.

At the Beach 90 Street station, they say, cops spotted some men who might have fit the description, including Calderon. Nobody, they add, has accused Calderon of beating and robbing the teen.

They do say, however, that when cops approached the group, Calderon suddenly bolted, scaling the fence on the edge of the platform and jumping off the elevated structure, apparently aiming for the roof of the self-storage facility on Beach 88 Street and the Freeway.

Police say he missed the building and died on the street.

He was transported to the trauma center at Jamaica Hospital, where he was declared dead on arrival, sources say.

Calderon’s parents, however, told Daily News reporters that he had a day off from his restaurant job and had just finished enjoying a day at the beach with his friends.

They say that Calderon ran not because he saw the cops coming, but because he had gotten into an argument with another man on the train over a seat in the overcrowded car. When the man pulled a knife and cut another man on the train, Calderon ran off the train with the man following him.

The Daily News also reported that Calderon was intoxicated at the time of his fall.

Calderon’s father told reporters that he is looking for the truth.

“We want to find out exactly what happened,” he said. “We requested an official to review security cameras.”

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