By David Greene
January 23, 2023
BRONX - Police are currently waiting for a medical examiner's report to determine a homeless man's cause of death after one witness claimed to have witnessed a "bloody" scene in a 4th-floor hallway in the University Heights building.
On January 1, an unnamed NYPD official confirmed the death, telling the Bronx Voice that police officers responding to a call to 911 at 5:00 p.m. on Christmas Day, and discovered a man "unconscious" inside a building in the area of Andrews Avenue and West Fordham Road.
Providing few details, the police official said, "Upon arrival officers observed a 40-year-old male unconscious and unresponsive. EMS responded to the location and pronounced him deceased on scene." The official added that the New York City’s Office of the City's Medical Examiner will determine the exact cause of death.
The official identified the victim as Sameth Mao, whom police described as a 40-year-old homeless male.
The female witness and visitor to the building, who declined to be identified, who also alerted the Bronx Voice to the man's death, stated that the man was found in a closed off portion of the 4th-floor hallway at 2341 Andrews Avenue at West Fordham Road.
On New Year's Day January 1, the witness, who was visiting family members over the Christmas holiday, recalled, "On the 25th a man came down and told my uncle that a young man was bloody. Well there was blood everywhere and he didn't know if (the man) was dead or alive."
The witness recalled how her uncle called EMS and both she and her uncle had both escorted teams of paramedics to the 4th-floor.
"As soon as we reached the 4th-floor and turned to where the blood was, we saw a young man dead, he was in his boxers and there was blood everywhere."
Having moved from her family home, the witness continued, "I come visit here, you know because my family lives in the building and he's homeless and everyone knows him around the area."
Recalling seeing the man a day earlier, the witness continued, "I gave him $5 the day before and told him 'Merry Christmas' and he said he was going to get a coffee and he was so happy and the next day, the 25th that happened... and we found him dead in his boxers."
The witness said of Mao, "He was known. He was a very quiet man; he didn't get into trouble with anybody." She added that the super would allow Mao to sleep in what she described as a closed off cubicle, where he was discovered. She also noted that temperatures outside dipped that night to about 20 degrees.
The witness then stated, "This is my block, I just felt the need, nobody deserves to die without love or concern. You know I gave him five dollars the day before and the next day to find him, you know deceased, it took a toll on my heart." She added, "It wasn't like a murder, they really don't know what happened, we're still waiting for the autopsy to find out what really happened."
The witness concluded, "That room looked like a murder scene, and we really want to know what happened because he was in our community for a very long time." She added, "We feel love and we mourn" Mao.
During a visit to the building, the super denied having ever allowed anyone to sleep in the building's hallway.
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