At the scene, a woman believed to be his girlfriend could be heard screaming “Get up! Get up! Oh my God! Oh my God!”, as she looked over his crumpled body.
28-year-old Devon Wade fell to his death in a fool hardy effort to evade arrest on a bench warrant stretching almost four years back to October 2013.
“Put a rush on a bus!” screamed a cop, a member of the NYPD Warrant Squad.
The responding EMTs however, appeared to lose their grip on the mortally injured Wade as they tried to carry him up a flight of stairs, causing him to slip off of the backboard, a video of the incident showed.
Cops had come to the apartment on Morris Ave. near E. 181st St. in Fordham Heights about 6:30 a.m. to arrest him on a bench warrant.
Wade of Bedford Park Blvd. was wanted for a 2013 fraud case and for a Feb. 7 incident of false impersonation and obstruction of governmental administration after he gave police a fake name during a car stop and fled the scene, police said.
Police eventually tracked Wade to his fiancee’s apartment.When cops pounded on his door, Wade had climbed out of the window and climbed up the fire escape.
Once inside, the cops saw him climbing up the ladder and onto the roof, but they did not follow him, police said.
“They came knocking on the doors, real hard,” said building superintendent Bernardo Pena, 47. “He goes to the roof and the cops yell, ‘Don’t do it! Don’t do it! You wanna get shot? Don’t do it!’”
Wade allegedly fell in a futile effort to jump onto the roof of a neighboring building, he fell and landed instead on an alleyway. Police took the injured man to St. Barnabas Hospital, where he died, officials said.
Once on the roof, Wade tried to jump to the roof of the building next door. He couldn’t make the 15-foot gap and fell between the two buildings, officials and witnesses said.
Pena said he watched as Janell Reid, believed to be Wade’s girlfriend ran outside, looking for Wade.
“She was screaming, like she knew him. Like she was surprised to see a dead body,” he remembered. “The cops were telling her, Get back! Get back!”
The NYPD’s Force Investigations Division are reviewing the suspect’s death to determine if the officers followed proper procedure in the execution of the warrant.
An NYPD spokesman said officers were not on the roof when Wade fell. Cops in the courtyard saw him climbing up the fire escape as their colleagues tried to gain entry into the apartment.
Wade had been arrested 19 prior times, mostly for drugs and other non-violent offenses, officials said.
Neighbors Chris Collins said cops would often hassle Wade “for doing low level drugs.”
“I saw him last night at 12 a.m.,” said Collins, 53. “We were joking and stuff. He was happy. He was a good dude.”
“It’s crazy,” he added. “Nobody wants to go to Rikers. People die in Rikers. I would run too. He didn’t mean to die. He just wanted to get away.”