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Man found dead behind apartment building after he allegedly fell off the fire escape while smoking

A New York City man accidentally fell to his death early Saturday morning while he was smoking on the fire escape of his apartment, police have said.

Colin Cotter, 30, was pronounced dead on the scene after he apparently slipped and fell five floors from his building on West 81st Street at 1.38am, reported the New York Daily News.

Cotter had been on the fire escape with a friend at the time and his roommate was reportedly sleeping.

According to Cotter’s girlfriend of three years, Jessica Rayo, he and the friend had been drinking before the incident.

Police officers do not suspect foul play.

But Rayo told the Daily News that she and Cotter used to smoke on the fire escape often without incident and that she is suspicious about his fall.

‘Listen, we used to smoke on that fire escape all the time,’ she said. 

‘I basically live with him. How is he going to slip? And if it’s raining, how is he going to be smoking outside? The first thing you do is go inside.’

Also making Rayo question the accident is a text she received from Cotter before the fall that read “good night my love”.

‘This situation is very fishy and I don’t like it at all,’ she told the newspaper. 

‘I want an investigation. I want to find out…A big guy like that is just going to fall?’    

Cotter, who worked at the StageHand Institute of Technology, according to his Facebook page, was heavily involved in the Black Lives Matter movement.

Posts on social media show him asking for masks and medical supplies for protesters and sharing numbers to call for the ‘defund the police’ movement. 

One neighbor said that Cotter acted as an unofficial medic during BLM demonstrations. 

‘He was getting donated free masks and supplies to hand out at the protests,’ the neighbor told the newspaper.

‘He also had his rolling bag case with a red cross taped on it. He was all about the protests and doing his part.’ 

Another neighbor, who asked to remain anonymous, told the Daily News that Cotter had been living in the building for three to four months. He was asked by cop to identify the victim.  

‘He was face down, head smashed into the ground [in a] pool of blood,’ the neighbor said.

‘A witness called in and said: “I just saw someone slip off the fire escape.” I knew the guy.’  

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