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.”
©2010 Community News Group
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