Woman freed by FDNY after being trapped in NYC hookah bar

Karma was indeed a bitch for this woman!

A woman was trapped in the bowels of an East Village hookah bar overnight before the FDNY came to her rescue early Saturday, officials said.

The shocked lady emerged from the basement of Karma, a two-level hookah club on First Avenue between Third Street and Fourth Street.

How the woman became trapped in the living room remained a mystery on Saturday afternoon as Karma remained closed and police said they had no details of the incident.

The FDNY said it received a report of a “mentally altered person” at 51 First Avenue at 12:01 a.m. Saturday, and the person was taken to Bellevue Hospital.

At 1 p.m., the black door above Karma’s entrance, stained with red, green and white graffiti, was still closed. The thin black and green railing and door leading to the basement where the woman had been rescued appeared to be broken and falling apart on the right side.

How the woman got trapped in the New York salon has remained a mystery.
William Farrington

Smoking a cigarette, Leslie Padilla, 39, a manager at nearby Ace Hardware, said when he arrived at work around 7.30am on Saturday the woman had already been rescued and was sitting in a car with another man.

“Things happen, it’s a bar, people drink,” Padilla said of the lockdown.

The neighbors who lived above Karma were less diplomatic.

Ariana Barone, 23, a paralegal, described the place as “pretty busy” on the weekends, and from Thursday to Sunday, “there’s a fairly constant musical beat in our apartment.”

Locals have complained about the club's clientele and noise.
Karma is a two-level hookah club on First Avenue between Third Street and Fourth Street.
William Farrington

The news of the abandoned club scared Barone.

“I’m watching ‘Dahmer’ right now, so it’s really weird,” she said, referring to the Netflix series about the serial killer.

A person who identified himself as the “owner/manager” of Karma declined to comment.

A woman was rescued from inside a club, Karma
At least one person in the East Village was spooked by the news of the woman trapped at the hookah bar.
William Farrington

The original episode recalls an incident on Friday the 13th in 2018, when a man in his twenties called 911 because he was locked inside the Marshall Stack Bar on Rivington Street near Allen Street in the Lower East Side.

In this case, the firefighters intervened a few moments later, opened the door and let the man out. He had been locked inside the bar for more than three hours after 4 a.m. closing time.

Richard Dement

The author Richard Dement