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Man chasing baseball gets stuck between walls for three hours

By
Ben Hooper

March 26 (UPI) -- A man who ended up wedged between two Hawaii buildings for more than three hours said he was chasing a runaway baseball.

Michael Anthony Maggiacomo, who was rescued Friday from between the exterior walls of a Walgreens and Heald College's parking structure near Ala Moana in Honolulu, said he was bouncing a baseball on top of the Heald College Plaza when it got away from him.

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"This is like the sixth ball, so I think 'Okay, I got to go down and get these,'" Maggiacomo, who is known to locals as "Baseball Mike," told KHON-TV.

Maggiacomo said he decided to shimmy down between the walls, even though the space was only about 9 inches.

"I saw that it was skinny at the bottom but I'm skinny, very skinny," he said.

He said he was about 15 feet from the bottom when he felt the space narrowing.

"That's when I learned that, 'uh oh,' but hey I'm down here to get the baseballs, so go a little lower, go a little lower," Maggiacomo said. "I just didn't think I wasn't coming back out of that hole period."

A Walgreens customer heard Maggiacomo calling for help and firefighters soon arrived to use drills and hammers to break through a wall, a process that took more than three hours.

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"It started as a tile wall and then a full concrete slab and then supported with rebar," Honolulu Fire Department Capt. Albert Mccollum told KGMB-TV. "We had to cut through all that to get to his location."

"I could hear dong dong dong so I know they are coming, as it was reverberating, I know they were there," Maggiacomo said. "But I was like I'm dying and there's a point where you tap out, you literally tap out."

Maggiacomo said he was taken to the hospital in serious condition, but was found to be free of major injuries and is recovering from his ordeal.

"I'm just happy to be here you know that," he said.

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