2007_02_adams2.JPGA manager at Chelsea nightclub BED, who was involved in an incident where a club patron fatally fell down an elevator shaft, was released on bail yesterday. Granville Adams (left) had been charged with criminally negligent homicide, when he pushed Orlando Valle against closed elevator doors during a fight (the doors opened and Valle fell four stories), and his lawyers say that Adams was pushed so their client pushed back in self-defense.

It's still unclear what prompted the fight, but it seems that Valle's niece Tiffany Tanner and the coat check girl at BED got into a fight. Adams stepped in, and his lawyer Edward Kraft said he was hit on the head with something "we don't know what, a glass vase maybe." And when he felt somebody "jump on his back," he threw the person off his back. And this may have been Valle, who friends say was trying to calm things down. The force of Valle's body (or perhaps bodies) against the elevator doors forced them open.

Adams apparently didn't realize Valle had died until he spoke to lawyer while in police custody. Kraft called Valle's death "a tragic, unfortunate accident" while Adams' other lawyer Aaron Golub said, "Blame the elevator. But the elevator's not showing up in court."

2007_02_valle.jpgBlogger Mik Awake was friends with Valle (right) at W.W. Norton. He wrote a moving post about his friendship with Valle and how Valle's stories inspired him. Mik also noted:

This was also the stoic man who, unbeknownst to many of our other colleagues, was hospitalized for an extended period earlier last year after sustaining a gunshot wound to his neck, the victim of a botched robbery. The bullet barely missed his spinal cord, but he was back at work in a month's time. And he told none but his closest friends at work.

It seemed that, after this near-death experience, after which I remember giving him one of the longest hugs I've ever given another man, that he would be exempt from future near-death experiences, that he had paid his dues, that the laws of kharma would spare him from their cold, metallic cycles for many years to come.

The Post reports that the elevator had been recently repaired (though it's unclear why) and that the elevator had passed its inspections. (One marketing executive who planned an event at BED said that the elevators seemed to be out all day until the event itself; she adds that Adams was "calm and very effective" during the event.) Adams will return to court on April 12 for a hearing; if found guilty, he could face 4 years in prison.