Grieving parents blame lack of security at abandoned SI hospital site for son’s death

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STATAN ISLAND — The grieving parents of a teen who died after falling in an abandoned hospital blamed their son’s death on a lack of security at the site in the Tompkinsville section.

Marcos Castillo, 16, was playing with friends Friday afternoon inside the former Staten Island Hospital on Castleton Avenue, when he plunged seven stories down an elevator shaft, according to police.

His friends went home to tell their parents, who then called 911. He was rushed to Richmond University Medical Center where he was pronounced dead.

Through tears, the boy’s father, Jorge Rivera, called for the long neglected complex, parts of it now covered with graffiti, to be taken down.

“I have to find out the next step the city has to take,” said Rivera. “There’s supposed to be security 24 hours. It wasn’t there.”

The old hospital had relocated in the late 1970’s. Since then, it had fallen into disrepair. Interested developers didn’t follow through, and the site became a magnet for curious kids and squatters.

“How long is it going to take, 35 years for something to happen, for them to do something about the building. Ridiculous,” exclaimed Marilyn Cardona, who lives near the long neglected buildings.

“A mother lost a child. It didn’t have to happen. It didn’t have to happen.”

In addition to his heartsick parents, the high school sophomore leaves behind a 5-year-old brother and dog he was often seen playing with.

Next door neighbor Timothy Thompson called the deadly accident “devastating,” and shared his thoughts about Marcos.

“He should be remembered as a very respectful, polite boy who always had a helping hand for anybody in the neighborhood,” said Thompson.