What was supposed to be a happy occasion turned into a tragedy for the friends and family of Orlando Valle. Valle had been celebrating his 35th birthday at the West Chelsea club BED on West 27th Street, but then an argument with club employees led to Valle's fatal fall an elevator shaft's four stories.
It seems that Valle's girlfriend's niece Tiffany Turner got into an argument with the BED coat check girl around 4AM on Saturday morning. The Daily News reports that the 20 year old Turner was getting her coat when BED manager Granville Adams "made a gesture toward her."
The coat-check woman, who apparently is dating Adams, noticed and started screaming at Turner.
"That's my man!" the jealous worker hollered. "That's my man!"
As the fight escalated, Adams and another man who works at BED walked toward Turner, witnesses told the Daily News. One of them pushed her to the floor, and Valle stepped in.
"What the f--- is your problem?" Valle barked. "Why did you do that?"
Valle's friends say that he was trying to protect Turner, but Adams and possibly another club employee pushed Valle against elevator doors. An elevator inspector told the NY Times that the "force of their bodies popped an elevator door off its rollers" and Valle fell through the door, landing on top of an elevator car between the first and second floors.
Adams, who had portrayed Zahir Arif on the HBO series Oz, was charged with criminally negligent homicide. And there are questions about BED's guest procedures, given that 20 year old Turner managed to get into the club ; the Post notes that it "has a strict 21-and-over policy and aggressively employs ID scanners.
Valle, who had served time for a drug dealing conviction, was a mailroom employee either at the NY Public Library or WW Norton. He leaves behind a 13 year old son, who said, "He was everything in my life."