New surveillance video released Tuesday showing the events leading up to Avonte Oquendo's disappearance from his Long Island City school last year is raising more questions as the investigation into his death continues. NY1's Arlene Borenstein filed the following report.
Until now, we’ve seen surveillance videos showing Avonte Oquendo inside and outside his Long Island City school in the moments before he went missing in early October.
But NY1 obtained new video that shows Avonte leaving through an open door at the school, a door that had been ajar for more than half an hour.
Thirty-one minutes earlier, a surveillance camera captured a man in a red shirt walking down the hallway towards a set of double doors. It's not clear if he was school staff or a parent, but when he walked out, the door did not shut behind him.
That door was still ajar when Avonte ran down the same hallway, towards the light coming through the open door. He stopped, looked around, and headed out.
Then, three minutes later, a school safety agent is seen slowly walking towards the double doors - shutting them, then walking slowly back down the hall.
"How does a door stay open like that for 30 minutes? Second of all, why did the safety agent leave it like that for 30 minutes? And why did the school safety agent come over and close it three minutes after Avonte walked out?" said Attorney David Perecman.
Perecman says a school safety agent was supposed to monitor computer screens showing the video from those cameras and others. He says he believes the agent may have somehow been distracted.
The family's attorney says he's been trying to find out more about the agent, who's employed by the NYPD.
"That's why I made a FOIL request. I asked for the documents,” he said.
But he says the NYPD has not complied with his freedom of information law request.
NY1 asked the NYPD to comment on the video, which must have come to light during the police investigation. NY1 was told only that the case is under investigation and pending litigation.
That litigation is from Avonte's family. Family members are also demanding video evidence and internal records related to his disappearance.