NEW YORK Police answering cries for help on Friday found a screaming burglar dangling from a ceiling air vent over a hot fat fryer at an upstate New York restaurant.
"He said he thought he was going to die," said Lt. Michael Brown, spokesman for the police in Rotterdam, New York.
A grease-covered Timothy Cipriani, 46, of nearby Schenectady was pleading for help when he was discovered wedged into the ventilation duct at Paesan's Pizza in the early hours of the morning.
He had climbed a tree to the roof, where he broke into an air duct to enter the restaurant after it closed, police said.
He was trapped where the vent opened over the fryer, and he became extremely distraught, Brown said.
"The fryer had been used all day, so it may have been generating some heat," Brown said.
Cipriani was arraigned on charges of burglary, criminal mischief and possession of burglary tools and was held in lieu of $20,000 bail at the Schenectady County Jail, police said.
(Reporting by Barbara Goldberg; Editing by Ellen Wulfhorst and Greg McCune)