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Pitt student stuck between buildings freed after bid to impress woman

| Tuesday, Aug. 23, 2016, 7:03 a.m.
Emergency crews work early in the morning of Tuesday, Aug. 23, 2016, to free a man who became trapped between two buildings on Forbes Avenue in Oakland.
Jennifer Tomazic | WPXI
Emergency crews work early in the morning of Tuesday, Aug. 23, 2016, to free a man who became trapped between two buildings on Forbes Avenue in Oakland.
Emergency crews work to free a man who became stuck between two buildings on Tuesday, Aug. 23, 2016, along Forbes Avenue in Oakland.
Jennifer Tomazic | WPXI
Emergency crews work to free a man who became stuck between two buildings on Tuesday, Aug. 23, 2016, along Forbes Avenue in Oakland.
Emergency crews punched a whole in the wall of the Qdoba's Mexican Eats restaurant on Forbes Avenue in Oakland on Tuesday, Aug. 23, 2016, to free a man who became stuck between two buildings.
Jennifer Tomazic | WPXI
Emergency crews punched a whole in the wall of the Qdoba's Mexican Eats restaurant on Forbes Avenue in Oakland on Tuesday, Aug. 23, 2016, to free a man who became stuck between two buildings.
A sign posted in the window of the Bruegger's Bagels on Forbes Avenue in Oakland notifies customers of the store's closure on Tuesday, Aug, 23, 2016.
Jennifer Tomazic | WPXI
A sign posted in the window of the Bruegger's Bagels on Forbes Avenue in Oakland notifies customers of the store's closure on Tuesday, Aug, 23, 2016.
Crews use heavy equipment to break through thick walls in order to rescue a University of Pittsburgh student who fell between two buildings.
Pittsburgh Public Safety
Crews use heavy equipment to break through thick walls in order to rescue a University of Pittsburgh student who fell between two buildings.
Crews use heavy equipment to break through thick walls in order to rescue a University of Pittsburgh student who fell between two buildings.
Pittsburgh Public Safety
Crews use heavy equipment to break through thick walls in order to rescue a University of Pittsburgh student who fell between two buildings.

A University of Pittsburgh student trying to impress a woman by leaping from one rooftop to another instead fell into a narrow gap between buildings on Forbes Avenue and had to be rescued, police said Tuesday.

Grant Birdsong, 22, of Indiana Township fell awkwardly and became wedged in a narrow, debris-filled space. It took rescuers about four hours to free him.

He and the woman apparently got onto the roof by climbing an exterior fire escape. After Birdsong fell, the woman alerted campus police, who called city police.

Crews used a jackhammer and other tools to break through a wall from inside a Qdoba restaurant on the first floor of one of the buildings. A paramedic was lowered on a rope to check on Birdsong before other paramedics led him to safety, Pittsburgh Public Safety spokeswoman Emily Schaffer said.

Birdsong was bleeding but conscious, and he waved to TV news cameras signaling he was OK as he was wheeled on a gurney to an ambulance.

Emergency responders transported him to UPMC Presbyterian with a broken ankle. He underwent surgery Tuesday and should be released from the hospital Wednesday or Thursday, said his father, Tom Birdsong.

Public Safety spokeswoman Sonya Toler said she did not know whether he would face charges.

University police did not respond to a call for comment.

Chad Brooks, the franchisee who owns the Qdoba restaurant, said it probably would be closed for a couple of weeks.

Pitt students are returning for the fall semester this week, which makes it a busy time for restaurants near the university.

“This is sort of a make-or-break time with the Pitt students returning,” Brooks said. “So it's not a good time for us.”

Tribune-Review staff writers Michael Walton and Tony Raap contributed.

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