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Police Refuse to Give Video of Teen's Plunge From Roof to Family, They Say

By Gwynne Hogan | April 4, 2017 2:34pm
 Rame Pierluisse, 13, died after falling from the roof of a Grove Street building, police said.
Rame Pierluisse, 13, died after falling from the roof of a Grove Street building, police said.
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BUSHWICK — The family of the 13-year-old boy who plunged to his death from an apartment building rooftop said police won't let them view a video that shows what led up to the boy's death, even though investigators had previously promised to share it.

"I want to see what happened to him...Why ain't they showing me the video," said the boy's mother, Selenia Feliciano, 50. "I want to know what's going on...They've had this tape for so long."

"I will find out the truth," she said.

Rame Pierluisse, 13, was on the roof of 57 Grove St. shortly before 5:32 p.m. March 24 when he and a friend fell between the buildings, police said. Rame landed first, and his friend fell on top of him, which family members said may have saved the second boy's life.

Police from Bushwick's 83rd Precinct determined that there was no criminality, and told relatives that they had obtained video of the moments before the incident and that they would be allowed to see it, said Nicole Caruso, 33, Rame's cousin.

But the next day, officers from the precinct told Caruso that only Rame's parents would be allowed to watch the video — and his mother was too distraught to do so, family members said.

Next, police told relatives that they would be allowed to watch the video on March 29 when the lead investigator got back from vacation. But when relatives returned to the precinct stationhouse that day, they were told that Rame's mother would need a lawyer present in order to view the video.

“She didn’t do anything. Why does she need a lawyer?” wondered Nilsa Caruso, 54, Feliciano's sister and Rame's aunt.

Rame's family, who say they just want to watch the video to get peace of mind that Rame's death was, in fact an accident.

Caruso and Feliciano said an NYPD detective told them there were other boys on the roof with Rame and his friend before they fell off. In addition, they said they're confused by a New York Daily News report, unconfirmed by the NYPD, citing sources that said the boys had been chased by police for smoking pot.

"The video has the truth," said Caruso, who went to the precinct on March 27 with other family members trying to see the video to no avail. "It's just suspicious. You start wondering, 'Are they hiding something?'"

Police said Rame and another boy were trying to jump between rooftops on March 24 when they misjudged the distance and both fell to the ground three stories below, according to the NYPD's account of what happened.

The 15-year-old boy — whose name was not released by police — was conscious and alert after the fall and in stable condition, while Rame, a jokester of a teen who loved computer games, handball and writing, was rushed to the Kings County Hospital and later declared dead.

NYPD officials said the investigation was ongoing and that they would not release details until its conclusion.

The District Attorney's office didn't respond immediately to a request for comment.