Three teenagers were charged with criminal trespassing last week after fire officials had to rescue them from a Fresh Meadows storm sewer, authorities said.
Authorities said a neighbor called police after she saw the three teens — aged 15, 16 and 17 — opening a manhole in a small park near the corner of Underhill Avenue and Utopia Parkway.
More than four dozen firefighters, hazardous materials officials and police rushed to the scene, finding an open manhole but no teenagers in the early afternoon of Oct. 15. Firefighters conducted an initial search of the sewers, but still found no sign of the teens.
“They waited around because they didn’t know where to look down there,” said a woman who lives across the street.
Firefighters briefly closed up the manhole before a map of the area’s storm sewer system was delivered by the city Department of Environmental Protection. Shortly thereafter, the teenagers were located and hoisted out of the manhole in harnesses, authorities said.
“Once they had the map, they got them out of there quick,” said the neighbor, who asked not to be named.
The teenagers were checked out at the scene by emergency medical technicians, determined to be in good condition and subsequently arrested by officers from the 111th Precinct.
The teenagers were not identified by police due to their age, but NY1 news reported the trio, who were wearing football pants at the time of their arrests, were students at John Bowne High School in Flushing. The teens were arraigned in Queens Criminal Court last week on charges of criminal trespassing, a misdemeanor, authorities said.
Reach reporter Stephen Stirling by e−mail at Sstirling@
©2008 Community News Group
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