Men fall through elevator shaft during brawl, one dies

A tussle inside a Tenderloin single-resident occupancy hotel turned into a scene out of an action movie Saturday night but with tragic results.

Two fighting men crashed through an elevator door at the Riviera Hotel at about 11:50 p.m., according to police Sgt. Steve Mannina. One survived the two-story fall, but a 46-year-old man was dead when authorities were able to finally extract the men on Sunday morning.

Though the hotel is four stories tall, police said the gap between the broken door and the top of the elevator was about a 25-foot drop. Neither of the men has been identified.

The dead man’s family had yet to be notified Sunday and the other man, described as between 25 and 30 years old, was taken to a nearby hospital but not booked in the incident.

Police said they were still investigating the incident and haven’t decide whether the incident should be ruled accidental or as a crime.

The building manager at the Riviera Hotel, at the corner of Ellis and Jones streets, said the night clerk heard the commotion and called police. The two men were not tenants of the hotel, he said, adding that the elevator has been in perfect working order.

bbegin@examiner.com

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