I'll let the South Florida Sun-Sentinel, in a story that has to be read to be believed, take it from there:
The man, identified Monday as Benjamin Rodriguez, 46 and homeless, had been dead up to 72 hours before his body was discovered Saturday, according to officials and state records. He was found upside down in the shaft, with his arms at his sides, according to the Broward Medical Examiner's Office.This seemed to me about the oddest possible angle somebody could put on this story. But the Sun-Sentinel's account offers opinions aplenty:
His death left people wondering why anyone would take such a dangerous route, and if perhaps this is a reaction to a rough economy.
"That's crazy. It sounds like a horror movie," said Estefania Nevial, an accountant's assistant in the strip mall just south of Mayo Street. "I couldn't believe it. I guess that's how desperate people are."I guess so. The bad economy forced him to climb down a ventilation shaft to try to rob a bar. Local officals agree:
"Desperate times bring desperate measures," Hollywood fire-rescue spokesman Battalion Chief Mark Steele said. "People will do anything right now. We're seeing a lot of weird calls. Every day you jump on that truck you're going to see something different."Ventilation man was suddenly forced into a life of crime by the economic downturn. We want change! We want change! Barack Obama certainly wouldn't have let this man die. In order to save these people, we clearly need change to get us out of this sluggish economy perpetrated by the Evil Bush.
Almost as a footnote, the story adds:
Florida criminal records show Rodriguez has been arrested 22 times on various drug possession-related, theft and criminal traffic charges dating back to 1991. His most recent arrest was in June, when the Broward Sheriff's Office picked him up on a warrant charging grand theft, resisting a law enforcement officer and traffic violations.Huh. That's one long, crazy, burglary-inducing recession.