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Man falls to death from downtown L.A. apartment

November 20, 2009 | 11:32 am

Police are investigating the death this morning of an elderly man who fell from his 10th-story apartment in the Alexandria Hotel in downtown Los Angeles.

Officers called to the 500 block of South Spring Street about 5:30 a.m. initially investigated the death as a suicide, said Officer April Harding, a spokeswoman for the Los Angeles Police Department. A recent string of suicides in the area, the city’s Old Bank District, has confounded residents.

But coroner’s officials say the death appears to be accidental, and that a section of the fire escape outside the man’s apartment apparently gave way and was found on the sidewalk near the man’s body, according to Investigator Mario Sainz of the coroner’s office. The man was pronounced dead at the scene.

The man’s name will not be released until relatives are notified, but Sainz described him as white and about 80 years old.

Attempts to reach officials with the Alexandria Hotel were unsuccessful. The hotel, once a glamorous magnet for Hollywood celebrities and American presidents, is now an apartment complex with low-income housing that recently underwent a major renovation.

A neighbor who lived below the man wrote on a downtown blog, “His body laying outside my window is the most disturbing thing I have ever seen.”

--- Seema Mehta

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