Angel Calderon, Hero Doorman of 595 West End Avenue: In Memoriam

Angel Calderon. Photograph by Boyd Hagen.

By Davide di Cagno-Hagen

Late last Monday night, June 22, Angel Calderon, 54 years old, was leaving his shift as a doorman at 595 West End Avenue at 89th Street. A man who prided himself on his past service in the Navy and as a security guard who kept a protective watch over students at local community colleges, he saw a mugging in progress in the #1 train station at 86th and Broadway, and ran after the suspect. He tackled the 6’4” man (much larger than his 5’10” stature) and held him until the police arrived, the Post reported. After they apprehended the suspect, Angel got back on the subway to go to his home in the Bronx and died of what is suspected to be a seizure or heart attack.

I got to know Angel throughout my youth and when I returned home after college. He was a beloved doorman and figure on West End Avenue. He was gracious, kind, hard-working, and extremely friendly and outgoing. He was known to pick up the residents’ children from school buses if parents couldn’t make it, feed the tenants’ cats, and watch the superintendent’s dog if he was away. He didn’t only stand guard for 595 WEA, but for the whole avenue, as he got to know the people who walked by and their dogs. He’d tell me about civil service jobs and recount exciting stories to me and my friends, and always took an interest not just in my life, but everyone else’s too. We would talk about his love of music—he had a DJ booth set up in his apartment—and his burgeoning interest in cycling. Knowing I was an avid cyclist, we’d discuss safe routes for him to take, and he’d proudly tell me about his rides from the Bronx down the West Side Highway, and his childhood growing up in the Bronx in the 70s.

Just a few weeks prior, one of Angel’s sisters died from complications from the coronavirus. While his family is reeling from these two deaths so close together, they have some relief in the news that the NYPD sergeants union announced that they will pay for Angel’s funeral.

Angel’s surviving sister, Lourdes Calderon relayed that her family is heartbroken. The family has set up a GoFundMe to help with expenses related to his passing: https://www.gofundme.com/f/services-for-angel-calderon

NEWS | 34 comments | permalink
    1. C says:

      This is so sad. There needs to be police reform however in the meantime crime will be going up!
      It’s time for Upper West Side residents to wake up.

    2. bravo says:

      595 WEA is not at 86th street (555 WEA is at 87th.) The building at WEA and 86th is 545 WEA.

    3. Ellen says:

      So sad. May he RIP

    4. RR says:

      A truly wonderful wonderful man who thought of everyone before himself. As residents of 595, we will miss him so much, but so will all my friends and extended family who didn’t live there and knew him so well.

    5. Leon says:

      My condolences to his friends and family. Such a tragedy. He sounds like he was a true mensch.

    6. Steve Waxman says:

      I knew Angel since I lived across the street at 590 WEA. He ALWAYS Had a smile on his face, and he always was there to help, even if you didn’t ask. I am more and more convinced that there are “special people“ in this world. He was one of them.

    7. Jennifer says:

      Thank you all for such kind words about my uncle. It truly touches our hearts to see how many people saw the big heart he always had. He always tried to help people, not just physically but thorough his words as well. He will truly be missed.

    8. Bruce E. Bernstein says:

      very sad… a real hero, and a double tragedy for the family. RIP.

    9. Danielle Remp says:

      Does anyone know whether the perpetrator can be charged with this sad death?
      (The fatal heart attack happened as a result of the commission of a crime.)

    10. Suzanne Kalman Owner says:

      Angel was so kind and sweet to me and my dog Angelina as we walked by. I was was happy to see him after the coronavirus quarantine was lifting. He made walking Angelina more joyful. He was so bubbly and very much a gentleman. Was so sorry to hear of this loss. He will be missed.

    11. Joel H Bernstein says:

      One of the nicest men I have known. So much more than a helping hand for those of us who lived in his building. A true friend to us all. And his heroic action just tells those of us who think we knew him well that there was so much more that we had missed. And what a wonderful gesture from the sergeants union. Hero cops helping the family of a hero citizen. God bless Angel and God bless you.

      JB

    12. Louise says:

      I am so sad and shocked. I live in the area and visit a friend at 595 W. regularly, often on Angels shift. He was always so friendly and warm and we joked and talked about the buildings flowers, the dogs in the building and so many other things. His passing is a real loss for the building and community. We need more people like Angel. RIP.

    13. Concerned resident says:

      This is very sad. Street crime continues to surge on the UWS. Could this be related to all the new homeless who are being introduced? Are we reverting to the Dinkin years? Can we expect our community leaders to do something?

    14. Andy says:

      So incredibly sad. Angel was the sweetest, kindest person.

    15. UnionProud says:

      Never had the good fortune to know this man…but I do know MANY like him.

      They are the “Doormen”, “Porters”, “maintenance-guys” etc. without whose daily devotion to duty our “nice” UWS buildings would never function.

      They are living-proof of NYC’s “Tale of Two Cities” (most could never afford the cost of living in such a building), but that doesn’t stop them from showing up every day to do their job.

      Thankfully, these are UNION-JOBS, and their union (32BJ SEIU) fights for decent salaries and other benefits.

    16. SAnyc says:

      This is heartbreaking. My deepest sympathy to his family and all who were graced by this hero’s friendship.

    17. Joey says:

      The NYPD Sergeants Benevolent Assoc. is paying for Mr. Calderon’s funeral. RIP Angel Calderon. God bless the NYPD and the Sergeants Benevolent Assoc.

    18. Janice Dunham says:

      This very sad passing and the many kindnesses Angel showed, including his last effort, remind me, and perhaps every one of us all, to try and be kinder and more generous people in honor of him.

    19. Angel was an “angel” in disguise watching over and protecting all. He was friendly and welcoming. I recall walking into the lobby and he had a dog on his lap and a baby in his arms.

      He was a sharp dresser and liked his bling, shinny shoes and tight hair cuts. . I spoke with him about The Yankees, music, home decorating, and our home town The Bronx.

      He was the face of 595 West End Ave. I will miss him very much. Angel you are a star that sails through the sky.

    20. LL says:

      Sounds like this man helped people throughout the years, what a terrible loss, on top of another family loss. I would not be surprised if his system was compromised by COVID-19 rendering him vulnerable to cardiovascular complication after exertion. I think we are going to see a lot of sudden deaths, the true cause masked by this man’s heroic actions.

    21. Cathy Steck says:

      I walked by his doorway every night with my dog. Always a hello and a warm smile. Such a very lovely person.
      I am heartbroken. Sending love and prayers to his family.
      Xxoo 😪😪❤❤

    22. Judith A. says:

      Thank you for posting this heartbreaking news and heartwarming tribute. I lived on the UWS for 30 years….will be contributing. God bless his family. 🙁

    23. Biffmeister says:

      God bless Angel and his family. May he RIP.
      We need more citizens like Angel and less like DeBlasio and Cuomo who fiddle while Rome burns.

    24. A. Abude says:

      My deepest condolences to his family, friends and UWS residents & neighbors who were graced by his beautiful being.🙏🏽

      Although I didn’t know him personally, I sense the positive impact he left on many people & furrbabies, especially in our UWS neighborhood. May he rest in great comfort, pride & peace for being a true “Angel” for all that he was & did for so many here and afar. 🕊🙏🏽 ☮️

    25. Eunice L-B says:

      The block felt safer with Angel standing watch. He helped me lock the doors to my rented car by using a technique he said Avis should have provided. He was a kind man, and will be missed by a neighbor at 601.
      My condolences to his family and friends. RIP!!!

    26. Janis says:

      My deepest sympathies go out to the family and friends of Mr. Calderone.
      He died a hero for helping the police apprehend the suspect.
      May his soul rest in peace.

    27. Francisco flores says:

      RIP my brother. We will meet again, we served together in the navy and became friends.

    28. Lesley Achitoff says:

      He’s still locked up. Check NYC DOC inmate lookup. C Felony! Should be considered something more serious. He has several warrants…

      • RASHID says:

        HE SHOULD BE LET OUT!!!! REMEMBER THERE IS A PANDEMIC, IF HE PROMISES TO COME BACK FOR TRIAL HE SHOULD BE LET OUT

    29. Lidi Mack says:

      So sad. Prayers for heartbroken grieving family.