Man dies in fall from Durfee

A 19-year old Colorado man died Sunday morning in an apparent fall from a window of Durfee Hall, University Secretary Linda Lorimer said.

The man, who was visiting a female Yale student, was found at approximately 3:00 a.m. near the entrance to the Yale Women’s Center on Elm Street. He was taken to Yale-New Haven Hospital, where he was pronounced dead.

“It appears to be an accident from one of the upper-floor windows,” Yale police chief James Perrotti said. “The exact mechanics of how that happened, we’re still pulling together.”

Lorimer said she would not give the name of the Yale student or the victim until his family was notified of his death. She said there were no signs of foul play, but that it was premature to speculate about whether the fall was an accident or suicide.

Police declined to give the exact location of the room from which the man fell, but a group of police officers were in a room on the fifth floor of Durfee at 10:00 a.m. Freshmen from Morse College fill most of Durfee but some rooms, including some on the fifth floor, hold Calhoun College annex students. Lorimer said she was still trying to discover whether the man fell from a Morse or Calhoun room as of Sunday morning.

At about 3:00 a.m. New Haven police received a medical assist call for Elm Street, New Haven police Sgt. Ray Johannes said. Paramedics were on the scene before police arrived, Johannes said, but the man was unresponsive.

Perrotti said the students in the room from which the victim fell were shaken up by the man’s death. Lorimer said counseling services would be available.

“We will do our best to support his family and the Yale students who will be understandably upset about this matter,” Lorimer said. “The death of any person … is a tragedy.”

The friend of the victim does not live in Durfee and was not present at the time of the man’s death, Perrotti said. The student met with University Chaplain Frederick Streets at about 3:30 a.m. and with her residential college dean later in the morning.

At 9:00 a.m. Morse Dean Rosemary Jones spoke with Perrotti outside Durfee. Afterwards, she said, she was going to a meeting, which she assumed was about the incident. Jones said she had no information regarding the incident.

“I’m just finding out about it,” Jones said.

Calhoun Master William Sledge said he was not sure if the man fell from a Calhoun room and that he had not been given much information.

“If we find out the facts and there are Calhoun students involved in any way, we’ll meet with them and try to help them,” Sledge said.

At 9:11 a.m. Lorimer sent an e-mail to Yale students, faculty and staff concerning the incident. In the e-mail, Lorimer encouraged students who were in Durfee between 1:00 a.m. and 3:00 a.m. Sunday morning to contact Yale police.

The Elm Street sidewalk in front of Durfees Sweet Shop and the Yale Women’s Center was roped off with police tape Sunday morning. Local news crews were parked on Elm Street surrounding the tape as early as 4:00 a.m and remained there throughout the morning.

Lorimer and Perrotti said it was unlikely much additional information about the man’s death would be available for the rest of the day.

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