Beatle fans threaten death leap
AP (New York)
Two girls threatened for 30 minutes Monday to jump from the 21st floor of the Americana Hotel "unless we get to see the Beatles."
A policeman got on his knees and persuaded them to come away.
One girl broke into tears and helped the other away from the ledge, witnesses said.
The girls then started combing their hair and checking their makeup as policemen rushed to grab them.
All the time the British rock n roll group was in the Hotel Warwick about a block away. There was no indication that they knew what was happening.
Two women from Atlanta watched the episode from their 21st floor room, which overlooked the roof of the setback.
A steel railing runs around the roof, about two feet from the ledge.
Billie Stewart and Mrs. Warren Moody said police tried for 30 minutes to talk the girls into leaving the ledge, where they sat with their legs dangling over 54th Street.
One of the policemen finally got on his knees and begged, the women said.
One of the teenage girls with tears in her eyes, crawled under the railing and onto the roof. The girl said something to her friend, then helped her from the ledge.
The Beatles arrived early Monday from St. Louis. They will perform in Shea Stadium tonight.
Police kept a strong contingent around the Warwick, keeping teenage fans a block away.
The girls identified themselves to police as Carol Hopkins, 17 and Susan Richmond, 15, both of Staten Island.
They were taken in an ambulance to Roosevelt Hospital for observation.
Patrolman Richard Powers, 39, said he got to within eight feet of the girls during twenty minutes of trying to persuade them to leave the ledge.
He said the girls kept repeating that they had a letter for one of the Beatles and would stay on the ledge until they got a promise they could deliver it.
Powers said his partner, Patrick O'Connor, promised the girls that he would deliver the letter, but this did not work.
Then from his knees, patrolman Powers reached the girls when he said, "It would break my heart if my daughter was out here like this. I have a daughter your age." One of the girls broke into tears and climbed inside the railing and helped her friend to come inside.
Paul was asked about this at the press conference later that same day and here is what he said: