Rigger acquitted in Midtown crane collapse

July 22, 2010 01:30PM

From left, William Rapetti, Scott Stringer and Cyrus Vance. 

Crane rigger William Rapetti was acquitted
today of manslaughter charges in the 2008 Midtown crane collapse that
killed six construction workers and a tourist at 303 East 51st Street,
at Second Avenue. Prosecutors said Rapetti did an efficient job
of securing the nearly 200-foot crane as it was being extended upward,
while Rapetti’s lawyer maintained that he worked carefully,
but that the crane was unsteady because of engineering equipment that
wasn’t Rapetti’s responsibility. City officials expressed
disappointment following the decision. “While we respect
the criminal justice process, we are extremely disappointed by the
court’s verdict,” said Manhattan District Attorney Cyrus Vance, in
a statement. Manhattan Borough President Scott Stringer had harsh
words for the Department of Buildings, blaming the DOB for faulty
inspection procedures. “Questions about the innocence or guilt of this
particular rigger miss the larger point that still lingers some 28
months after the tragic crane collapse,” he said in a statement. “Any
questionable straps, beams, collars or other crane parts should have
been caught through the use of aggressive inspection protocols by the
Department of Buildings.” TRD