Inquirer staff writer Melissa Dribben writes:
At noon, employees of the Medical Examiner's Office finally removed from the sidewalk the body of a man who had jumped from the top of Loews Philadelphia Hotel on Market Street in Center City. The man's body lay on the sidewalk on 12th Street just south of Market for two hours, drawing a crowd of several hundred onlookers.
The apparent suicide victim was a heavy set white male, dressed in sweat pants, white socks, sneakers, a blue shirt and a jacket.
Police were called to the Loews Philadelphia Hotel shortly before 10 a.m. after the man plunged from the 33rd floor.
A spokesman for Loews did not know if the man was a guest or a hotel worker.
Passersby were horrified.
An unkempt man walked briskly by muttering, “A crazy mess! Oh my God!”
Mary Frame, 49, was walking north on 12th Street as the man fell.
“I saw something coming down,” said Frame. “And man, he hit the ground. You could hear it a block away.”
Several retail sales clerks at the T-Mobile shop on the corner opposite the Loews said the impact sounded like a gunshot.
Shamaine Byrd, a T-Mobile sales representative, said the man came down feet first. His body bounced and then he just laid there.
“I’m still kinda freaking out,” Byrd said. “You want to stop looking, but you just can’t.”
Police closed off a short section of the sidewalk on 12th Street as they investigated the apparent suicide.
At 11 a.m., one of the man’s hands, balled in a fist, and one of his shoeless feet protruded from under the sheet. Across the street, morning commuters lined up at a food cart for their morning coffee and cheesesteaks.