Los Angeles

Man Suffocates While Trapped Inside Donation Box

Neighbors say the man had reached into a narrow opening to try and take items out of the donation box

A homeless man reached too far into a donation box, got stuck and died on Friday in South Los Angeles.

The man, who was in his 30s, and who neighbors said often collected bottles and cans, got trapped at a donation box on Vermont and West Colden avenues.

He tried to reach inside the narrow opening at the box that was set on the sidewalk illegally.

"His head was caught in there with his legs out," said Shirley Williams, who lives in the neighborhood.

Firefighters cut open the box to free the man.

People in the neighborhood have complained about the box, saying it's attracting crime.

Police are trying to track down the owner.

NBC4 tried to find out who owned it, but the phone numbers listed on the box was disconnected. The words "Donate 15" are written on the side but NBC4 hasn't been able to locate a charity with that name.

"These things belong in a parking lot with a monitor," said Jackie Love, who lives nearby. "Not just set on corners."

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