Man dies on corner of Fourth and San Fernando Streets

by May 6, 2013 4:55 pm Tags: , , , , ,

The lifeless body of a homeless man lays on the corner of 4th Street and San Fernando below the 4th street parking garage on Monday after the man committed suicide by throwing himself off of the garage. Kevin Johnson / Spartan Daily

The lifeless body of a homeless man lays on the corner of 4th Street and San Fernando below the 4th street parking garage on Monday after the man committed suicide by throwing himself off of the garage. Kevin Johnson / Spartan Daily

A man fell to his death on the corner of Fourth and San Fernando Streets on May 6 around 1:15 p.m., according to Sgt. John Laws of the University Police Department. 

"All we know now is that about 1:18 p.m. an unknown male suffered fatal injuries at the city's Fourth Street garage," Laws said.

The San Jose Police Department received a call about the incident from a UPD officer at 1:21 p.m., said Albert Morales, the SJPD public information officer.

"It's still early in the investigation," Morales said, "As of now we don't suspect foul play." 
 
He said it is still unclear whether the death was accidental or a suicide, but the police are treating it as a suicide until further word from the coroner's office. 
 
San Jose resident David Alvarez, 53, said he knew the man and was across the street near the Dr. Martin Luther King Jr. 
Library when he heard the impact of the fall. 

"I heard the crash and I thought it was a car," Alvarez said. 

He said when he crossed the street to find out what happened, he saw the man and realized that he had known him for about 10 years.
 
Alvarez said the man was a Latino homeless man in his early to mid 40s, who was living in a tent near Coyote Creek in San Jose.
 
Now living in a rehabilitation facility in San Jose, Alvarez said he used to live on the homeless campsite on the creek with the man and about 50 other homeless people. 
 
He said the man struggled with mental health issues, used methamphetamine and was often in and out of jail for drug related charges. 
 
"I think he jumped," Alvarez said. "He was having a lot of problems."
 
The last time Alvarez said he saw the man was in December and he remembered the man as kindhearted and respectful, despite his circumstances.
 
"He was just struggling," Alvarez said. "He was always struggling, but he was a real good guy."  
 
Arthur Martinez, a San Jose-based homeless man and friend of Alvarez, said he saw the man fall to his death and did not know him personally.
 
Martinez said he saw the man fall from about the third story of the parking garage, but couldn't tell whether it was a suicide or accident.
 
"I don't know if he jumped, (or if) he just fell," he said. "I didn't see what floor he came off of, he just came down hard. It was horrible." 
 
Morales said he was unsure if the man died instantly, but Martinez said he did not see him move after he fell to the ground. 
 
Martinez said that a lack of resources for the homeless in the area may have led to the man's death. 
 
"It's sad. Homeless people (have) got nowhere to go … He might have jumped," he said. "I really feel for him. He did a lot of meth and had a lot of psychological problems."
 
Alvarez said the only living family member the man ever mentioned to him was his mother, but Alvarez never met her or any of the man's family.
 
"I took care of him," he said. "I bought him a tent, and I bought him some clothes."
 
San Jose resident Christina Garcia, 26, walked by the scene with her husband, Ben Garcia, 34, after leaving the King Library, and said she was shocked and saddened by the incident. 
 
"It's just really unfortunate to see this happen," she said.
 
Ben said it was an unexpected scene. 
 
"I think it's sad that someone would take their own life like that," he said as he held his wife's hand. 
 
Morales said the coroner's office would continue the investigation and would work to discover the man's identity and official time of death. 
 
Alvarez said he would remember his friend as a kind man who was stricken with unfortunate circumstances.
 
"He wasn't a violent person," Alvarez said. "He was a real good guy."

5 thoughts on “Man dies on corner of Fourth and San Fernando Streets

  1. A very tragic incident. I feel sorry for those who had to witness such an awful seen and may the Man and his soul rest in peace.

    Stay Strong Spartans and send positive vibes to his family and his soul.

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