CLEVELAND - The exotic dancer who fell 15 feet at a strip club in Cleveland's Flats District has died.
According to MetroHealth Medical Center, 22-year-old Lauren Block of Richmond Heights died Wednesday.
Block's family released the following statement :
"We would like to thank the community for their outpouring of support and prayers for Lauren. She has passed away but is an organ donor, and we hope this will enable her to save many lives and live on through others. We would like to express our gratitude to the staff at MetroHealth. They worked tirelessly to do all they could to save her life. We ask that the media respect our privacy during this difficult time. We know that she's in God's hands."
Block was taken to the hospital in the early morning hours of Jan. 2 after she fell from the second floor balcony at Christie's Cabaret on Main Avenue.
"I'm sick thinking about that. To lose a child, whether they're newborn or older, you're never supposed to die before your parents," said Kathy Coates who lives across the street from the Block family. Coates added that she didn't know them well, but was devastated by the news.
"We always waved and said 'Hi' and had dogs," added Coates.
"So sorry to hear that. That is a surprise," said George Redcross who also lives nearby but was not close with the family.
A man who was getting a lap dance from Block explained to police what happened.
"He stated that she grabbed the rail, as he was facing away from the balcony, and she tried to complete some sort of dance jump/dance move and accidentally went head first over the rail," stated the officer in the report.
A witness told NewsChannel5 Block was not moving after the fall.
Block was rushed to the hospital with major head injuries and was initially listed in critical condition, the police report said.
Police said two men who witnessed the incident fled the bar as soon as it happened, but detectives are not treating this as a criminal case. The report said the video surveillance inside the club was inconclusive.
Christie's did not comment on the incident or Block's death when NewsChannel5 requested an interview Wednesday.
But news of the dancer's passing got a lot of people talking online, including one of her former co-workers. On newsnet5.com, "Danielle Edwards" commented that she's skeptical of how something like this could accidentally happen.
"Even in six inch heels, that railing came up high enough on me that I still had to lean over to see down below. So how she (Block) managed to get a majority of her body that far over the railing to where she lost her balance is confusing," she wrote.
The Occupational Safety and Health Administration, or OSHA, is investigating the incident and talking to employees and management at Christie's. OSHA said this is the first time its investigated the strip club.