June 16, 2014 at 7:46 pm

Alleged scrapper injured when porch roof collapses on Detroit's west side

Neighbor rescues victim of porch collapse
Neighbor rescues victim of porch collapse: Five men helped rescue an alleged scrapper who was trapped and seriously injured in an alleged porch collapse.

Detroit — Neighbors came to the aid of a man believed to be a scrapper Monday morning after the roof of a porch from an abandoned dwelling collapsed on top of him, seriously injuring him, authorities said.

A man, believed to be in his 40s, was seen around 10:20 a.m. at a vacant home in the 2000 block of Pasadena, north of Linwood. Neighbor Supreem Shabazz, 43, saw the man in front of the home and, moments later, heard a loud thud.

“I heard a big, old boom,” Shabazz said “So I come back to the door. I thought he must of got the last piece off and the porch collapsed because I knew it was going to come down.

“But when I got out here to my front door, I didn’t see him but I heard a faint ‘help me, help me, help me.’ So I jet out my house, and I start panicking because I see him trapped underneath the house. He looked like ‘The Wizard of Oz’ where the house fell on top of the witch.”

Shabazz tried to lift the roof off the man to no avail. So he pleaded for neighbors to help. One of the victim’s legs was trapped underneath him in what one neighbor described as “chicken-wing style” for 10 to 15 minutes.

Four men, including Shabazz, lifted the collapsed structure while another pulled the victim from underneath before placing him at the edge of the home’s driveway, where he moaned in pain.

“I told him: ‘Don’t worry, brother. I’m not going to leave,’ ” Shabazz said. “I knew for a fact if we didn’t get him from out of that porch in the right amount of time, he is going to die.”

An ambulance, only blocks away at an apartment fire, was able to respond in two minutes, Fire Chief Gene Biondo said.

He was still conscious and able to explain to paramedics what happened when he was rushed to Henry Ford Hospital. The victim apparently was attempting to rip the gutter from the front of the house when the porch gave way, Biondo said.

“All over two dollars of scrap money,” Shabazz said. “ ... Brother was just trying to get a couple extra dollars, but was it really worth your life?”

His condition wasn’t immediately known.

Supreem Shabazz helped raise a collapsed porch off a man at an abandoned home in Detroit on Monday. / David Coates / The Detroit News