Defendants Allegedly Caused Leaking Gas to Become Trapped in Building; Resulting Explosion Blew Off Roof and It Struck Fahy
Bronx District Attorney Darcel D. Clark today announced that two men have been indicted for second-degree Manslaughter in the explosion in an alleged marijuana grow house that killed FDNY Battalion Chief Michael Fahy, who had responded to a reported gas leak in the building in the Kingsbridge section of the Bronx.
District Attorney Clark said, “Chief Fahy responded to a situation that was a catastrophe waiting to happen. These defendants allegedly were growing marijuana, and had sealed the windows of the building, trapping leaking gas. Chief Fahy ordered residents out of the building- - including one of the defendants--and saved their lives. When the gas exploded, it blew off the slate roof and a section of it struck and killed him.”
District Attorney Clark said the defendants, Garivaldi Castillo, 32, of 465 W. 166 Street, Manhattan, and Julio Salcedo, 34, of 3450 Kingsbridge Avenue, the Bronx, have been indicted on second-degree Manslaughter. Castillo and Salcedo were arraigned today before Bronx Supreme Court Justice Steven Barrett and are due back in court on September 5, 2017.
They had previously been indicted on charges of first-degree Assault, second-degree Assault, and first-degree Criminal Possession of Marijuana. If convicted of the top charge of first-degree Assault, they could face up to 25 years in prison.
According to the investigation, on September 27, 2016, firefighters responded to the two story building at 300 West 234 Street for a possible gas leak. They found numerous marijuana plants as well as heaters, fertilizer and tanks of helium, allegedly maintained by Castillo and Salcedo.
According to the new indictment, the defendants recklessly caused Chief Fahy’s death by sealing the windows of the building, in furtherance of a marijuana grow house operation, causing leaking gas to become trapped inside the building, causing it to explode, which caused the roof to strike Chief Fahy, killing him.
An indictment is an accusatory instrument and not proof of a defendant’s guilt.