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A 12-year-old boy is dead after playing a game with other children involving an automatic parking lot gate at an apartment complex in the Brownsville area of Brooklyn.

Yakim McDaniels died Sunday after he was crushed in a 20-foot tall roll up gate securing the parking lot of the Plaza Residences apartment complex at 230 Lott Avenue where he lived with his family, reports the New York Post.

In a dangerous game, Yakim and a group of children climbed upon the closed gate and then activated the motion sensor that makes the gate go up when a car approaches. Then would see who could stay on the longest before jumping off. While two boys jumped to safety, Yakim’s hand or clothing entangled in the gate and he was unable to escape. His upper body crushed in the top of the gate’s frame as the gate rolled up.

“I was upstairs when it happened,” Doris Chase, Yakin’s mother, told NY1. “Somebody knocked on my door and told me my son was stuck on the gate and he was dead already. But then I heard one of the firemen said my son was saying he couldn't breathe. Then the super, somebody told me the super told the officers not to cross but they did anyway and them it went up higher.”

The FDNY responded to the scene and cut the child from the gate. He was transported to Brookdale Hospital where doctors later pronounced him dead.

A resident said that children have played on the gate for months and that they complained to management about the situation. According to residents, children play on the gate because the complex lacks safe places for children to play.

“It’s a game. Kids are always on that gate,” a neighbor told the New York Daily News. “They play chicken to see who can hang on the longest.”

The gate was equipped with sensors that stopped its downward motion if there was an object or person underneath, but no sensors to stop its upward movement.

Omni New York LLC, owner of the apartment building, has agreed to pay for the child’s funeral.


  1. Gravatar for eccence

    I am so sorry for the death of this child, I really am, however, I am hard pressed to see how this is the development's fault. Unless I'm missing something, the gate shouldn't necessarily have a sensor to stop it from going up because there shouldn't be anyone on it. The sensor is to stop cars and people from getting crushed as it goes down. As for the parents in the complex complaining about their children playing on the gate - isn't that their responsibility to stop it, not the developments?

  2. Gravatar for vergie jackson

    R.I.P yakim gone but never forgotten u just wanted to have fun that day not knowing your life was gonna end I'm so sad right now but ill make sure your mom n siblings r ok u were always a sweet kid now may your soul be comfort in heaven love you ya ya miss u always........

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