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Man Lives Through a Rat Nightmare in a New York Sidewalk Hole

Zack has been published on Yahoo! News, Yahoo! Finance, & Yahoo! Sports & received the Yahoo! Hot 500 award several times on Yahoo! Voices.

Do you like rats on your bed?

Rats on the bed

Rats on the bed

Rats are not Man's Best Friend

Some people like rodents as pets. Typically, these people keep their pet rodents in a cage or glass tank, and occasionally put out their pet mouse or rat to play with it outside of the cage.

Many people have a fear of rats, and some people are even deathly afraid of coming across a rat in their everyday life. If you live in a city like New York, there are many jokes about the size of the rats. Some New Yorkers even claim to have seen rats the size of a common housecat.

But one man experienced something that will traumatize him for the rest of his life, after falling into a hole in the sidewalk in New York City while waiting for a bus. He realized the fear that some people only have nightmares about. He not only fell down a dark hole in a sidewalk, but he was trapped in this hole that was filled with rats, that crawled all over him for at least 30 minutes until he was rescued.

His harrowing story can be read below.




True Story: Man Falls into a Rat 'Nightmare' Sidewalk Hole

33-year old Leonard Shoulders, walked up to his bus stop on a typical day, in a neighborhood in the Bronx, as many waited for the bus to pick them up from the bus stop in the Belmont neighborhood.

And then something unthinkable happened.

According to Leonard, a hole opened up in the sidewalk, and Leonard fell into the chasm, falling 12 to 15 feet down into the underground hole, and to make matters worse, this hole was filled with an uncountable number of rats.

Leonard's brother, Greg White, told local CBS news in New York, "He [Leonard] was casually waiting for the bus and it just fell."

His mother, Cindy White, told NBC News New York: "He's traumatized. He said he went straight down, and he was falling, falling, but the debris was falling and hitting him in the head."

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Greg later described the incident as "Rats crawling on him, he can't move. He didn't want to yell because he was afraid there were going to be rats inside his mouth."

Then, for the next 30 minutes, Leonard Shoulders remained trapped underground before firefighters were able to pull him out of the hole in the sidewalk.

A crowd gathered around the hole where the concrete sidewalk fell apart, and Leonard fell down into the rat hole. Reporters interviewed one eyewitness that looked down and only saw Leonard waving his hand in distress before falling into the rat-infested hole in the sidewalk.

Leonard Suffered Injuries to his Head, Arm, and Leg

He suffered injuries to his head, arm, and leg. Notably, his face scraped against the concrete, causing him to lose skin. His brother Greg says, "His arm was bad, and his leg is numb." Greg later says, "It's like one out of a million chance of that happening. I'm shocked. I was surprised but, you know, he's breathing."

Video captured shows the moment that Leonard was sucked down into the hole in the sidewalk. Firefighters were eventually able to pull Leonard out of the hole filled with rats.

He was later seen being wheeled off on a stretcher by first responders, before being put into an ambulance and taken to the hospital. He was noted as being in stable condition at the hospital.

His brother, Greg, told reporters that Leonard was alert in the hospital, but was deeply traumatized by the whole incident. The day after, the family was talking to a lawyer, Nicolas Bagley, to discuss legal actions that could be taken.

NY Department of Buildings and Department of Transportation Give Accounts of the Sidewalk

The NY Department of Buildings reported that this sidewalk had been in disrepair, and simply gave out. According to CBS news, an inspector had given a "full vacate" order for the five-story building sitting where this bus stop is located. The building's owner was ordered to place green fencing around the building, indicating that it is not suitable for occupants.

The Department of Transportation told the CBS station that it issued a sidewalk violation there previously (years ago), but nothing was done by the building owner to remedy the situation.

Video of Leonard Shoulders falling into Rat 'Nightmare' Sidewalk Hole

What do you fear more?

© 2020 Zack Love


Zeron87 on October 31, 2020:

Wow! What I frightening story. I'm not terrified of rats and killed my share of them, but I would think I was about to be eaten alive if this happened to me... Thanks for sharing this story, man.

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