This afternoon a freshman at Kings College was walking to the Broad Street J/Z station when a futon mattress fell from the sky and knocked him unconscious. Two witnesses say the mattress toppled off the top of a building some 30 stories up. Considering how heavy those futon mattresses can be, this guy's lucky he didn't break his neck—and he knows it. Jesse Scott Owen, the victim, is out of the hospital and tells us he's grateful to be alive.
Owen, who just moved to NYC from Florida three weeks ago, says he was on his way to catch the subway to school when near-death came from above. "I was walking on the left side of the street—which I never do—and as I'm walking I get hit on the head with something. I was knocked out, I don't know for how long. I was awoken by people were putting me up on the mattress, including one man who I think worked for the Stock Exchange."
According to Owen, this man was his Guardian Angel. "I was wondering why I was on the mattress and they explained it had fallen on me and knocked me out! I thought that was kind of hysterical. But everyone's telling me not to move, and this one man in particular kept his arm on me and would not take it off, as you can see in the picture. He took my wallet and phone and called my mother and gave my information to the police."
Owen says two of his classmates happened to be walking by and joined him in the ambulance to New York Downtown hospital, where he got X-Rays, CAT Scans, and pain medication. "My neck still hurts pretty bad," says Owen, who suffered a sprained neck and possibly a herniated disc. And then there's the monetary pain. "Everyone's asking me if I'm going to sue, but I have honestly no clue," Owen insists. "I really don't want to pay these medical bills along with my college tuition."
The NYPD told Owen's mother the mattress might have blown off of the roof of a spa during today's high winds. And one woman who witnessed the incident told Owen's friends that she saw it fall from very high up. (Another witness told us earlier, "It must have flown off a rooftop terrace at least 30 floors up as I work on the 24th floor and saw it come down from above.") However, no police report was filled out, according to Owen's mother. As it happens, this rooftop spa at the Setai Wall Street on 40 Broad appears to have mattresses that look just like the one that fell on Owen.
But all things considered, Owen seems to be taking it in stride. "It was an experience," Owen tells us. "And I am really happy I am not dead." From his point of view, it was almost a rite of passage. "When I first Googled it to see if anyone had written about this I tried searching 'boy hit by mattress wall street' and that didn't work," Owen recalls. "So I tried 'man hit by mattress' and your story came up. I was psyched. 'That's right, I'm a man now! They said it was a man knocked out on the sidewalk.' "