Fall through glass ceiling of Florida hotel proves deadly for mystery man

"People were saying he was a speaker at a conference here -- they said he jumped or was pushed off of the 27th floor," says hotel guest.
By Evan Bleier  |  Nov. 18, 2013 at 10:28 AM
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Nov. 18 (UPI) -- A man plunged to his death through the glass ceiling of a luxury hotel in Florida early on Sunday morning and people are still trying to figure out exactly happened.

A 911 call about the fall came in at 12:38 a.m. and the man was pronounced dead shortly after emergency crews responded to the beachside Westin Diplomat Resort and Spa in Hollywood.

"It's terrible," said hotel guest Ben Epstein. "We went to dinner last night…went upstairs about 11:30 p.m. We didn't hear anything. Today we came downstairs and everything was all blocked off."

There was an additional call about a fire alarm and the activation of the sprinkler system at the hotel, but it’s unclear whether the unidentified man’s fall caused those issues.

Following the incident, hotel workers replaced two broken glass panes, each about eight feet square.

"There was glass and debris in the lobby," said Hollywood Fire Rescue spokesman Joel Medina. "And there was damage to a sprinkler pipe that caused the sprinkler system to go on."

Rumors about what caused the man’s fatal fall are swirling.

"People were saying he was a speaker at a conference here -- they said he jumped or was pushed off of the 27th floor," said hotel guest Cheryl Stasney of Knoxville, Tenn.

The man's fall occurred about an hour after the 10th Annual Fairy Tale Ball "The Wizard of Oz" fundraising event for the Joe DiMaggio Children's Hospital Foundation, which drew some 600 guests to another part of the hotel.

It is unknown whether the victim attended the ball, and witnesses say most of the guests had left by that time.

"We are deeply saddened by the tragic incident that occurred at the resort," said hotel general manager Ed Walls in a statement. "The city of Hollywood police have our full cooperation and support during this time."


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