Lifestyle & Human Interest

Firefighters Cut Naked Man Out of Theater Bathroom Wall After He'd Been Stuck for Days


Landmark Theatre is a well-known historical site in Syracuse, New York, but on Friday morning first responders got a different kind of show than most people would expect.

On Friday at around 7:30 a.m., an employee at the theater heard strange noises coming from a wall in the men’s bathroom. Scuffling, banging and yelling were coming from a dead space — and it sounded human.

The Syracuse Fire Department showed up to handle the situation, and they posted about the unusual rescue on Facebook.

“Upon arrival, members of Rescue Company 1 drilled a hole in the wall and utilized a fiber-optic camera to determine his exact location and how to best extricate him,” the post stated.

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“Firefighters were then able to free the individual after carefully cutting through several layers of drywall and structural clay tile. He was treated and transported to Upstate University Hospital by AMR. His condition is not currently known.”

The 39-year-old man apparently got into the theater on Tuesday, though his motive was unclear. He appeared to be avoiding employees and after he disappeared, they assumed he left the building.

“I don’t know if he was entering to keep warm or to use the bathroom,” the executive director of the theater, Mike Intaglietta, told “I don’t know.”

According to Syracuse Fire Deputy Chief John Kane, the man hid in a crawl space for two days, but then fell into the dead space in the men’s bathroom wall and got hopelessly stuck.

While the man had no visible injuries at the time of his rescue, he was likely dehydrated after hiding out and then getting trapped for a total of three days. It’s unclear at what point he lost his clothes or why, but reported that by the time of his rescue, he was naked.

No criminal charges have been filed, and locals commenting on the fire department’s post provided more details.

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Shanika Knighton said her dad works at the theater and the man found in the wall is a well-known homeless man who frequents the area.

“[S]ad but true and he was drinking his own urine,” she commented. “My dad works there.”

The theater is considered by many to be haunted, so some people wondered if the man was a ghost hunter who took a wrong turn, but the clotheslessness bit complicates that theory.

Whatever his story, hopefully the man will get help and avoid such dangerous decisions in the future. It’s a mercy someone heard him and notified authorities, otherwise this situation could have had a much darker ending.

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