Hurricane Sandy's Death Toll in New York Climbs to 43

By Murray Weiss and Aidan Gardiner  on November 11, 2012 5:11pm  | Updated on November 11, 2012 5:14pm

NEW YORK — Hurricane Sandy's death toll climbed to 43 on Sunday, claiming additional victims from the Rockaways and Staten Island, police said.

The New York Police Department confirmed that a 64-year-old Midland Beach man, found dead in his home Friday afternoon, was the 42nd death caused by the storm, which has left up to 40,000 homeless.

He was discovered around 2:30 p.m., after a neighbor flagged down police and asked that they check on the home.

Police had not released his name, pending family notification.

Albert McSwain, a retired NYPD Academy custodian, was the 43rd victim to die from storm-related causes, police said Sunday.

On Oct. 31, at 3:15 p.m., relatives of the 77-year-old McSwain discovered him on the bottom steps of his dark, powerless apartment building on 84-10 Rockaway Beach Boulevard. 

McSwain suffered head and body trauma, and was paralyzed from the neck down.

He was taken to Jamaica Hospital, but eventually succumbed to his injuries on Nov. 10, police said.

McSwain worked at the Academy from 1968 to 1991.

Across New York City, Hurricane Sandy has claimed the life of one police officer and caused 78 line-of-duty injuries, as well as catastrophically damaging more than 1,000 officers' homes.

As of Sunday, the deaths from Hurricane Sandy include:

BROOKLYN

Jessie Streich-Kest, 24, and Jacob Vogelman, 23, were killed by a falling tree Oct. 29 while walking their dog on a Ditmas Park street the night the storm struck, the FDNY and residents reported. A neighbor found the couple the next morning and Streich-Kest and Vogelman were pronounced dead at the scene. Their dog Max was alive and taken in by a neighbor.

► A neighbor found an 87-year-old man lying face down in the living room of his apartment at 2730 Neptune Ave., in an apparent drowning. Police and medical crews responded to his house Tuesday and pronounced him dead. The medical examiner will determine his cause of death.

Cy Schoenfeld, 72, was found unconscious and unresponsive by police on Tuesday Oct. 30 in his home at 156 Oxford St. in Sheepshead Bay. He was pronounced dead at the scene and the medical examiner determined he had drowned.

► An unidentified 91-year-old woman was found unconscious Oct. 30 when police responded to a 911 call at a Coney Island address. She was pronounced dead at the scene and the medical examiner will determine her cause of death.

Richard Krins, 67, was found unconscious and unresponsive when police arrived at his home at 38 Dare Ct. in Sheepshead Bay on Wednesday Oct. 31. Neighbors said they pleaded with him to evacuate as the waters rose in his house, but he stubbornly refused. Neighbors discovered his body when they broke into his home to rescue his dog. He was pronounced dead at the scene and the medical examiner determined he had drowned.

► An unidentified 51-year-old man was found unconscious and unresponsive by police Thursday Nov. 1 in a grassy area near Shore Parkway and Bay 44th Street in Gravesend. He was pronounced dead at the scene and the medical examiner will determine his cause of death.

► An unidentified 48-year-old man was found unconscious and unresponsive by police on Thursday Nov. 1 in front of 137 12th St. in Gowanus. There wasn’t any power at the location and police said that in the darkness, he slipped and fell on a wet patch of ground. He was pronounced dead at the scene and the medical examiner will determine his cause of death.

MANHATTAN

Anthony Narh, a Bronx resident, drowned inside a car on the first floor of Empire Parking Garage at 92 Laight St. in TriBeCa. Narh, who was in his 50s, was pronounced dead at the scene on Tuesday Oct. 30. Police believe he worked at the garage.

Frank Suber, a 55-year-old Staten Island man, was found dead inside a commercial building at 90 Broad St. in the Financial District on Monday Oct. 29 around 10 p.m., while Sandy continued to pummel New York. “He was outside the building, and somehow he landed inside,” an NYPD spokesman said. It’s believed flood waters might have pushed the man inside the building, where he drowned.

QUEENS

Lauren Abraham, a 23-year-old Richmond Hill woman, was electrocuted the night of the storm  when she stepped in a puddle electrified by a downed wire outside her home at 105-05 134th St., police said. She was pronounced dead at the scene.

Anthony Laino, a 30-year-old Flushing man, was killed when a tree crashed through his house at 47-36 166th St. just after 7 p.m. Monday Oct. 29, police said. He was pronounced dead at the scene.

Henry Sullivan, 57, was found dead Oct. 30 in the basement of his home at 426 Beach 136th St. in Belle Harbor. Sullivan, a high school teacher, tried to weather out the storm with his wife in their home. He had gone down to his basement to shut off the gas to the house and never returned. The medical examiner determined that he drowned in the flood. 

Nancy Gavin-Sorensen, a 50-year-old Rockaway Park woman, bled to death after a floodwater-borne mirror slashed her arm inside her 188 Beach 124th St. home. She was pronounced dead at the scene on Tuesday Oct. 30, police said.

Rick Gold, 67, was discovered by a neighbor in the basement of his house at 511 Beach 133 St. in the Rockaways on Tuesday Oct. 30. The medical examiner determined that he drowned.

► An unidentified 72-year-old man was found in bed on Tuesday Oct. 30 having apparently drowned at 161 Beach 117th St. in the Rockaways. He was pronounced dead at the scene and the medical examiner will determine his cause of death.

► An unidentified 84-year-old woman was found at 325 Beach 87th St. on Tuesday. She was pronounced dead at the scene and the medical examiner will determine her cause of death.

Eden Toussaint, 58, was found by police in the basement of his home at 420 Beach 69 St., near Gouverneur Avenue, around 5 p.m. on Wednesday Oct. 31. He drowned, the medical examiner said. His landlord had knocked on the door of his first floor home and tried to call him before the storm, but couldn't reach Toussaint. Neighbors said the former Kennedy Airport worker who walked with a cane probably didn't evacuate because he reluctantly did so for last year's Hurricane Irene, which was less severe in the city than predicted. 

George Stathis, 90, was discovered at 154 Beach 121 St. the morning of Saturday Nov. 3. He was pronounced dead at the scene, police said. The medical examiner determined that he drowned. 

William McKeon, 78, was found unconscious and bleeding from his head at the bottom of a wet, sandy stairwell inside his home on Shore Front Parkway in The Rockaways after Hurricane Sandy hit. McKeon died Tuesday Nov. 6 night at Jamaica Hospital from what the medical examiner determined to be storm-related injuries.

Albert McSwain, 77, was discovered Oct. 31 by his family on the bottom steps of his dark, powerless apartment building on 84-10 Rockaway Beach Boulevard. McSwain suffered head and body trauma, and was paralyzed from the neck down. He was taken to Jamaica Hospital, but eventually succumbed to his injuries on Nov. 10, police said.

STATEN ISLAND

Angela Dresch, 13, was found dead at 455 Manhattan Ave. in Tottenville on Tuesday Oct. 30. George Dresch, Angela's father, was found dead a short distance from their home on Wednesday Oct. 31, but he wasn't identified until the next day. The family lived nearby on Yetman Avenue, one of four homes on the block that sustained serious damage in the storm. The medical examiner determined that both drowned in the flood. 

Arthur Kasprazak, an NYPD officer, was killed Monday Oct. 29 while off-duty as he helped seven family members, including a 15-month-old boy, escape rising flood waters by leading them to the attic of his Doty Avenue house in Arrochar. While the group headed upstairs, Kasprzak went to the basement one last time to make sure it was clear. Police believed he was electrocuted, but the medical examiner determined that he drowned. He was pronounced dead at the scene the next morning on Tuesday October 30. Kasprzak served in the 1st Precinct in Manhattan and was a six-year member of the NYPD.

John Filipowicz Sr., 51, and his son, John Filipowicz Jr., 20, drowned while clinging to one another when the storm surge filled their home at 72 Fox Beach Ave. in Oakwood, Staten Island, officials said. They were found by police and National Guard soldiers on Tuesday Oct. 30.

► Beatrice Spagnuolo, 80, was found unconscious and unresponsive in her home at 164 Grimsby Ave. in Midland Beach on Tuesday Oct. 30. The medical examiner determined that she had drowned. 

Andrew Sammarco, 61, was found dead Tuesday Oct. 30 at 146 Mills Ave. The medical examiner determined that he drowned.

Ella Norris, 89, was found unconscious and unresponsive at 728 Buel Ave. on Tuesday Oct. 30. She was pronounced dead at the scene. The medical examiner determined that she drowned.

Leonard Montalto, 53, was found dead in his home at 176 Fox Beach Ave., in Oakwood, on Wednesday Oct. 31. The medical examiner determined that she drowned.

Anastasia Rispoli, 73, was found unconscious and unresponsive in her home at 158 Grimsby Ave., in Midland Beach, on Tuesday Oct. 30. She died of accidental drowning due to the storm, the medical examiner's office said.

Eugene Contrubis, 62, was found dead on Tuesday Oct. 30 in his home at 162 Kiswick Ave.  in an apparent drowning. The medical examiner will determined that he drowned.

Anna Gesso, 62, was found Tuesday Oct. 30 floating in her basement at 299 Naughton Ave. having apparently drowned. The medical examiner determined that she drowned.

James Rossi, an 85-year-old man who lived at 575 Quincy Ave., was missing until he was discovered submerged in deep water within his backyard on Tuesday Oct. 30. The medical examiner determined that he drowned.

Patricia Bevan, 59, was floating in a pool of water on the first floor of her home at 638 Hunter Ave. when police found her while doing door-to-door searches on Wednesday Oct. 31. She appears to have drowned and the medical examiner will determine her cause of death.

Jack Paterno, 65, was discovered by police Tuesday Oct. 30 floating in a pool of water just within the front door of his home at 787 Nugent Ave. in Midland Beach. The medical examiner determined that he drowned.

► George O'Regan, 79, was picked up from his home at 70 New Lane Wednesday Oct. 31 after he apparently fell down a flight of stairs in the dark. He was taken to Staten Island University North hospital where he was later pronounced dead. 

Marie Colborne, 66, and Walter Colborne, 89, were discovered in a wooded lot at Tennyson Drive and Nelson Avenue, about a block from their Harbour Court home Thursday Nov. 1. A neighbor said the couple did everything together. "That was the beautiful thing about the two of them," said Ricci Martin. "They were always together." The medical examiner determined that they both drowned. 

Brandon and Connor Moore, brothers who were 2 and 4 years old respectively, were discovered in South Beach, Staten Island Thursday Nov. 1, four days after they were swept from their 29-year-old mother’s grasp by rising floodwaters Monday night. After her home lost power, the boy’s mother packed them into a blue Ford Explorer and headed toward relatives in Brooklyn, police said. But flood waters stalled the SUV near the 400-block of Fr. Capodanno Boulevard, so she and her two boys left it to find help. Her boys were swept away and she wasn’t able to find them in the stormy dark. The medical examiner determined that both had drowned.

Charlotte Breuers and David Hagley, 77 and 65-years-old, were found Friday Nov. 2 unconscious and unresponsive at 1025 Olympia Blvd., in New Corp, police said. They were pronounced dead at the scene and the medical examiner determined that they both drowned. 

► An unidentified man was found dead around 2:30 p.m.. on Friday, Nov. 9. The 64-year-old Midland Beach man was discovered when a neighbor flagged down police and asked that they check on the home.

For a map showing the location of where the deaths occurred, click here.

With reporting by Nicole Bode, Victoria Biekempis, Will Cruz, James Fannelli, Ben Fractenberg, Mathew Katz, Ewa Kern-Jedrychowsa, Tuan Nguyen, Nicholas Rizzi, Sonja Sharp, Andrea Swalec, Janet Upadhye, and Jess Wisloski.

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