Death plunge at the St. George Hotel

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An acting student fell to his death from his dorm room inside the St. George Hotel in Brooklyn Heights early on Sunday — and cops are investigating whether the man took psychedelic mushrooms before the plunge.

Cops said that 19-year-old Michael Simmons, who attended the New York Conservatory for Dramatic Arts in Manhattan, fell from the eighth-story window of the building on Henry Street near Clark Street at about 2 am.

Rob Cordova, who lives in the building, said he was parking across the street when Simmons fell.

“I heard a loud bang … I saw him lying there — people were screaming and crying and running out to see,” Cordova said. “The cops roped off the body and put a sheet over him. People were also taking pictures. It made me sick.”

A memorial of flowers and notes was set up on Monday near the spot where Simmons landed on Henry Street. Students filtered in and out of the dormitory, some crying and holding one another. A note on the memorial read, “Mike — Gone but definitely not forgotten.”

The medical examiner — who hasn’t returned calls by press time — is performing an autopsy to determine whether the death is a suicide and confirm a Daily News report that Simmons ate “magic mushrooms” earlier that night.

The Arizona native was studying dramatic arts at the college. Friends told the News that a group of students had taken the drug and split up just before the fall.

A family friend in Simmons’s native Chandler, Ariz., said that Simmons is survived by his parents and two sisters, 22 and 8 years old.

“He was a good kid — my daughters played with him all the time and he was happy,” said Harry O’Neill, Simmons’s neighbor for 16 years, through tears. “He had only been in New York and away from his family for a few months. He was really the nicest and most outgoing kid.”

Updated 5:21 pm, July 9, 2018: Corrects a mistaken collegiate affiliation. The student did not attend Brooklyn College.
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Reasonable discourse

ToNYC from Clinton-Washington says:
More people have committed suicide after drinking a mocha latte at Starbuck's than eating real Magic mushrooms. Coffee is a jungle drug.
Nov. 8, 2010, 4:04 pm
Daniel from San Antonio says:
If he did this because of shrooms, then that guy is a moron, and all I can say is, "Darwin Award material!"
Nov. 8, 2010, 7:04 pm
gone, but still remembered says:
@Daniel- Have some compassion for a teenage kid that may have made a mistake, if you noticed this article said nothing about prior bad habits. The kid has been dead for less than a week. Before you spit on the memory of someones loved one, maybe you should ask yourself if this was your child, how would you feel about someone calling your son a moron before the hard facts were released. Accidents happen. Its unfortunate that a young ambitious teen lost his life. May his soul rest in peace.
Nov. 8, 2010, 7:17 pm
Eve Escobedo from Gilbert, AZ says:
None of you know Michael personally, he was a very talented, inspiring, bright young man. His friends and his family are hurting very badly, if you could respectfully withhold your negative comments, everyone who was close to Michael would greatly appreciate it.
Nov. 8, 2010, 7:30 pm
Derek from Gilbert, AZ says:
Mike was a great guy who could teach us all how to put a little more heart into our lives. Personally I feel that he didn't do it, and even if he did we all have had those close calls in our life experimenting with alcohol or drugs. Life is fragile, and whether or not it happend know it was a tragedy and he was an inspiration to many prior to the dark days before us. Mike was my friend for many years back in junior high and even though we grew apart in high school I spent time with him before he left. The guy never changed and he held onto his morals and spirit. Like him I am goin to find time to live with that youthful spirit that brought so much life to his family friends and coworkers. Rest in peace buddy. I will never forget the impact you had on my personal journey.
Nov. 8, 2010, 8:46 pm
Jessi from Gilbert/Chandler, AZ says:
I've know Mike for a long long time. And frankly @Daniel from San Antonio, have a little heart for us, the friends and family of Michael. You didn't have the amazing privilege of know him. If you had, your negativity wouldn't exist. Mike carried such a beautiful energy with him everywhere, and never failed to pass it on to others. He made me smile on some of my absolute worst days. He was one of the most influential people I have ever met, and I don't know how such an amazing person can just be taken away overnight. He had such motivation to accomplish so much in his life, and was an inspiration to everyone around him. Mike's beautiful smile, voice, and personality will be the things that keep me constantly looking up throughout life.

And please, like Eve said above, keep negative comments to yourself, as they do nothing but fall back on yourself. Thank you for your further respect on the unreleased details on Michael's death.
Nov. 8, 2010, 8:55 pm
A Patterson from Chandler, AZ says:
I did not know Mike, but my daughter did and her comments to me about his spirit and character are nearly word for word what Eve, Derek and Jessi have wrriten. It sounds like the friends of Mike have lost a truly wonderful person. RIP Michael Simmons and know you had a positive impact on my daughter.
Nov. 8, 2010, 9:34 pm
Marie from Gilbert, AZ says:
I knew Michael and he was a great guy. He never made many bad choices but just because he did this does not make him a moron. He was an amazing kid and he will be missed dearly.
Nov. 8, 2010, 9:40 pm
Zackary from chandler az says:
Thank you everyone from AZ. Mike was one of my closets friends. we had gone camping w/ a few other friends just before he went to ny. reading your comments really helped me. May we make it through this with our spirits high, and may he never be forgotton.
Nov. 8, 2010, 10:20 pm
chica from chandler says:
He touched many fellow students at Chandler High School.
Nov. 9, 2010, 1:16 am
Andy Campbell from Downtown says:
Friends and family — please feel free to call me today and share your experiences with Mike. I can be reached at 718-260-4506 or by e-mail at Thank you.
Nov. 9, 2010, Noon
Kim from Chandler says:
@ Daniel...Kids make some stupid choices, as do adults. This is one of the times that the choice had tragic consequences.
Try and put yourself in his family's and friends' positions and then decide if your post is one that you would want them to read if it had happened to you.
Michael was not a stupid kid, in fact, the opposite would describe him. It was his decision to do the drug that was stupid.
I think the Darwin Award should go to you for your unthinking and uncaring comment.
Nov. 9, 2010, 5:53 pm
Cynthia from Clinton Hill says:
well R.I.P. guy who jumped out the window.
Nov. 11, 2010, 4:39 am
KC says:
Please, listen to what you are saying and think about whether you would want someone saying the same about someone you love dearly if they made a mistake. I knew Michael since I was in first grade and it makes me sick to think some of you would be so inconsiderate and disrespectful. No one even knows if he jumped or fell, so stop with the assumptions. Only Michael knows what really went on. His family and friends are in a time of grieving right now and it is only right that you respect that. He made a mistake. Haven't we all? Who are you to judge?

RIP Michael. We love you and miss you so much!
Say hi to Jesus for me :)
Nov. 14, 2010, 2:15 pm
MHC from Chandler says:
"Why is it that some of the most awesome people you'll ever meet are the ones that no one even sees?" ~Michael Simmons
Nov. 16, 2010, 3:14 pm
Friend from Arizona says:
I knew this guy, he was really nice. He did not have the greatest luck with being "popular" at school but had great friends and was content. I commend him for his resilience and love for life.

Having experience with psilocybin I feel this may have been an accidental suicide. This stems from the feelings of "forever" induced by the drug. One negative thought can propel you into a terrible feeling catharsis. Emotions are easy to recall and have a profound effect. Crying, just like laughing in other instances, can be easily triggered. It is in this state that one experiences the hard truths of the world but also takes away the greatest insight. In this instance you become an observer of the world with all the same tools as a human(agility, appendages, powerful brain, etc.) but you lose the ego. Concepts such as time, being selfish, money, and many other human made ideas melt away to reveal the true earth as it would be seen by an entity with no prior conditioning in society. I wish he would have had a sitter with him because coming out of a bad trip is a very liberating and rewarding experience.

In a way I do believe the drug was the cause of death but only because it managed to propagate any negative experiences Michael had experienced in the past. And the only thing I have seen make Mike mad is society and judgmental people who looked down on him.

The greater criminal is the society in which we take these wonderful tools to learn about our minds and make them taboo. Then when intelligent nice people want to partake in something that is their right and choice, they are subject to the dangers surrounding the misinformation about the substance. It may be safer than aspirin as far as physical effects but it is very true that one must be ready to safely leave their body where it is while they are under the effects of this drug.

If you are thinking about trying psilocybin or any other hallucinogenics such as mescalin (peyote), LSD (acid), etc. please do yourself a favor and read about it. There is a wealth of information on the net even from doctors discussing proper administration, environment, etc.

It is my opinion that Mike truthfully thought he was stuck forever in what he was feeling. Had he had someone there to remind him it would end soon he may still be with us. The fact is, when you are on this substance, it is easy to forget you have taken the substance. It is the nature of the experience which precipitates this, your sensory perception and thought process do not take into account that this is just an experience but rather that you are in a very real alternate world. Reminding yourself that you have taken the substance and that the feelings will, no matter what, end at some point are sometimes no comfort at all. This is because the 6 hours it takes for the effects to pass may feel like 10 years to the one experiencing it.

Some people may ask: "Why would you want to risk feeling like you are suffering for so long?"

The answer is that you learn about yourself and the world in ways you literally can not imagine if you have not had this type of experience. I have personally had a terrible trip in which I was shown facts about my character that I would have otherwise been blind to. It is hard to self analyze, these substances facilitate doing so. Not to mention that they fulfill every spiritual question, want, and need that existed within me during all my years studying Catholicism and then trying to be a Christian. The spirituality is within us, we do not necessarily need chemicals and drugs, but they help. Books work too, powerful scriptures like the bible have worked for many people to fulfill their need for spirituality. Personally I can not get past the flaws in the logic of the Bible as a whole but I love the altruistic ideology. Everyone's truth is their own, I respect that.

There are many accounts that the great prophets of many of the prominent religions around the world were under the effects of hallucinogens when they had their mystical insights. If you know the bible you should look into this and also the similarity between "Manna" in the bible and Psilocybin Mushrooms.
Oct. 9, 2011, 4:23 pm

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