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St. Pete clerk mistakes dead woman for April Fools mannequin
WFLA News 8 ^ | 2 April 2014 | Josh Green

Posted on 04/03/2014 4:33:04 PM PDT by NautiNurse

Twilight Zone: St. Petersburg FL - The desk worker who mistook a dead woman for an April Fool's Day joke and threw the 96 year-old's body into a dumpster has been fired.

Ronald Benjamin confirmed that the Peterborough Apartment complex fired him Wednesday morning.

Benjamin, 61, did not want to say much more to News Channel 8 because he is so distraught about what happened Wednesday. Friends have been at his home, consoling him, throughout the day.

“It’s one of those crazy circumstances that probably wouldn’t replicate itself in a hundred years,” said Mike Puetz, St. Petersburg Police spokesperson.

The bizarre incident started Wednesday morning around 4:30 a.m., when Benjamin, a desk clerk at the Peterborough Apartments, located at 440 4th Ave N in St. Petersburg, went out to the parking lot to take a smoke break.

The body of a 96-year-old woman who had jumped from her 16th story apartment was on the ground, but Benjamin didn’t process it that way, according to police.

“From a distance, he thought this was part of an April Fool’s prank,” Puetz said. “He didn’t go and investigate. He just thought somebody was trying to prank him and he didn’t even want to go check it out because he figured somebody was going to jump out of the bushes and scare him.”

Altogether four people would see the body, and were confused by what it was.

Two hours later, around 6:30 a.m., another employee of the apartments came into work, noticed the body, and told Benjamin, who told her someone was just playing a prank, according to police.

Benjamin then asked two people delivering newspapers to help.

“He flags them down and actually asks for their assistance in helping move the mannequin to the dumpster,” Puetz said.

It wasn’t until 8 a.m., when a maintenance man came into work and noticed blood in the parking lot, when everyone realized what was really there.

“He goes and looks in the dumpster and sees this is definitely a human being,” Puetz said.

The investigation led police to the 96-year-old woman’s 16th story apartment. They say she pulled a stool up to the window ledge and stepped out. She left a note.

Puetz said no one will face charges in the incident since it was a mistake.

“As the body lays there, you have rigor mortis set in, so the body actually becomes stiff,” Puetz said. “We’re talking about a very old woman that probably weighs not very much. So the totality of those issues might have convinced this man he wasn’t dealing with a human subject.”

Outside the doorway of the apartment tower, friends and neighbors place flowers at a small memorial.

Nancy Sanborn was a friend of the woman and said, just like any loss, this will take time to process. With grief, some seniors are showing forgiveness.

“I don’t think you can judge people by mistakes,” Sanborn said. “I wasn’t there and I’m sure he feels the loss and the tragedy as much as the rest of us.”

Sanborn said the woman fled England during World War II, attended college and got her masters degree, then went on to live a very successful life in the corporate world.


TOPICS: Miscellaneous; News/Current Events; US: Florida
KEYWORDS: aprilfool; dumbasdirt; mannequin; reallyanaprilfool
Not one, not two or three---but four people did not recognize the difference between a bloody corpse and a mannequin.
1 posted on 04/03/2014 4:33:04 PM PDT by NautiNurse
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To: NautiNurse

Sure, it’s early, but this has got to be a clear front-runner for Weird Story of the Year!


2 posted on 04/03/2014 4:35:29 PM PDT by JennysCool (My hypocrisy goes only so far)
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To: NautiNurse
Like This?

 photo original_zps81334598.jpg


3 posted on 04/03/2014 4:35:46 PM PDT by SkyDancer (I Believe In The Law Until It Intereferes With Justice. And Pay Your Liberty Tax Citizen.)
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To: NautiNurse

where did this occur again? I need to make absolutely utterly certain that I avoid any contact with the local braindead zombies there!

There’s Dumb..and then there’s NUMB!


4 posted on 04/03/2014 4:35:47 PM PDT by MeshugeMikey ( "Never, never, never give up". Winston Churchill)
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To: NautiNurse
 photo BBLCtxt_zps05b3e895.jpg

5 posted on 04/03/2014 4:39:28 PM PDT by SWAMPSNIPER (The Second Amendment, a Matter of Fact, Not a Matter of Opinion)
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To: NautiNurse; RandallFlagg

It was the mannequin that put the body in the dumpster. As for all (four)... The Zombie Apocalypse is here!


6 posted on 04/03/2014 4:40:50 PM PDT by bigheadfred
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To: JennysCool
Sure, it’s early, but this has got to be a clear front-runner for Weird Story of the Year!

I agree!

7 posted on 04/03/2014 4:43:10 PM PDT by NautiNurse (Obama sends U.S. Marines to pick up his dog & basketballs. Benghazi? Nope.)
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To: MeshugeMikey

The desk clerk prolly kicked the mannequin a few times to make sure it wasn’t a dead body.


8 posted on 04/03/2014 4:47:42 PM PDT by NautiNurse (Obama sends U.S. Marines to pick up his dog & basketballs. Benghazi? Nope.)
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To: NautiNurse

Obama Zombies with just enough function to pass as employable adults..


9 posted on 04/03/2014 4:52:38 PM PDT by MeshugeMikey ( "Never, never, never give up". Winston Churchill)
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To: SkyDancer

Uh....


10 posted on 04/03/2014 4:54:40 PM PDT by F15Eagle (1Jn4:15;5:4-5,11-13;Mt27:50-54;Mk15:33-34;Jn3:17-18,6:69,11:25,14:6,20:31;Ro10:8-11;1Tm2:5-6;Ti3:4-7)
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To: SkyDancer

I’m sitting in the Pizza Hut waiting to pickup a pizza...and just laughed out loud.

That’s funny!


11 posted on 04/03/2014 4:55:58 PM PDT by moovova
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To: NautiNurse

Rigor mortis + light weight + similar Halloween pranks in the news + April Fools Day + normalcy bias.

It all adds up.

Just like liberalism - only liberals are throwing out their freedoms, thinking they’re a prank.


12 posted on 04/03/2014 5:08:00 PM PDT by Talisker (One who commands, must obey.)
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To: NautiNurse

Jeez, the same mistake could EASILY be made by the staff of the US Senate’s Sergeant at Arms office if they came across the corpse like persona of Harry Reid sleeping.


13 posted on 04/03/2014 5:13:34 PM PDT by House Atreides
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To: NautiNurse

I can’t fathom struggling through 96 years and then just ending it all. How the hell much longer could she have possibly had?

God have mercy on her.


14 posted on 04/03/2014 5:14:24 PM PDT by TalBlack (Evil doesn't have a day job.)
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To: NautiNurse

What was he smoking?


15 posted on 04/03/2014 5:22:16 PM PDT by bigbob (The best way to get a bad law repealed is to enforce it strictly. Abraham Lincoln)
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To: TalBlack
I can’t fathom struggling through 96 years and then just ending it all. How the hell much longer could she have possibly had?

God have mercy on her.

When people reach this age, and we don't know of her physical health, and have lost the ability to do the normal things they used are at high risk. They need family support to give them a reason to continue and push through the pain. It sounds like she was all alone, God keep her close.

16 posted on 04/03/2014 5:31:09 PM PDT by Mastador1 (I'll take a bad dog over a good politician any day!)
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To: NautiNurse

I call BS.

I don’t care how “light” the poor old Lady was, you KNOW a dead body, when you see, touch a DEAD BODY!

Please somebody with a rusty spoon go neuter/spay these BRAIN DEAD a$$holes. They are a threat to National Security.


17 posted on 04/03/2014 7:55:15 PM PDT by Shadowstrike (Be polite, Be professional, but have a plan to kill everyone you meet.)
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To: NautiNurse

A Classmate of mine committed suicide by laying down on a train track, on Oct. 30, got sliced in half. It took two days before somebody realized he wasn’t a Halloween dummy, staged as a prop :(


18 posted on 04/04/2014 9:23:15 PM PDT by jttpwalsh
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