SAN LORENZO (KPIX 5) — A man was rescued Wednesday morning after being stuck in the grease vent of a restaurant in San Leandro for about two days, according to the sheriff’s office.
The sheriff’s office said deputies and firefighters were called to the building after someone heard cries for help at the recently-shuttered Chef Kwong Chinese restaurant on the 700 block of Bockman Rd. in San Leandro.
Igor Campos, a tax agent who works next door to the restaurant told KPIX 5 he heard the cries.
“For like 45 minutes I keep hearing this, and I’m thinking what the heck is going on?” he said.
So he went to investigate. After opening the back door of the restaurant the pleas for help became more discernible.
“So I’m looking at him, and he’s like get me out get me out … I just need to get out,” Campos said.
Once the deputies arrived they found the grease-covered man stuck inside a metal rooftop vent. They believe he was a trespasser and a possible burglar.
The Alameda County Fire Department was on the scene within minutes. “They determined that we had an individual stock in the vent system of the hood and duct system above the stove,” explained Battalion Chief John Whiting.
The man was stuck in a vent above one of the kitchen stoves. The vent leading down from the roof simply was not wide enough to allow his entire body though. His hat could be seen sitting on one of the burners after he was removed. “His foot was sticking out right there, you can see the damage on the sheet metal right there,” said property owner Frank Mitchell, pointing to his damaged hood equipment.
Getting the man out took about half an hour. “His body was like full of grease,” said Campos. “And his shoulder was dislocated.”
As for what the unidentified suspect was trying to accomplish by sliding in through the vent, authorities are still investigating. “Well we know it wasn’t Santa Claus,” said sheriff’s office spokesman Sgt. Ray Kelly. “It’s possibly an attempted burglary, but for sure we’re looking at trespassing. His actions did cause damage here, which would be a vandalism.”
The man was immediately hospitalized upon his extraction, but said to be in good condition considering he spent as long as two days stuck in that vent.