A seemingly deranged man jumped from the freezer at Sarabeth’s restaurant during brunch hours on Sunday.
After shouting about Satan, he suffered a heart attack and died on the scene.
“Away from me, Satan!” screamed a wild man as he leaped from the freezer at Sarabeth’s on Amsterdam Ave. at W. 80th St. at about 11 a.m.
Employees later said the man tried to attack them, according to Andres Venaegan, a waiter at Hamsa, a restaurant next door.
Someone called 911, which took the incident as a report of “assault in progress,” said police.
Sarabeth’s employees tried to calm the man.
But whatever bothered him was fatal. The man, 54, soon had a heart attack, said police.
Vanaegan said he saw first responders wheel the man from the restaurant in a stretcher.
He said the crazed man was shirtless. “He was apparently in bad condition,” said Vanaegan.
Medics rushed the man to St. Luke’s Hospital, where he died.
No one in the restaurant was hurt, cops said.
Police sources said the man carried ID indicating he was from Arizona. They would not release his identity because his family had not been notified.
Authorities said he had no obvious connection to New York. Officials could not explain what the man was doing in the freezer, or how long he had been there.
Vanaegan said the incident rattled workers at Sarabeth’s, which is famed for its jams and preserves and has several locations in the city.
The waiter learned of the incident when he stepped next door to ask for some change — and saw that the employees were agitated and upset.
“I asked them, ‘Are you OK?’ ” Vanaegan said. “I thought they were busy. The place is always busy. They told me, ‘No, someone tried to attack in the kitchen.’”
“You don’t expect this at your job,” Vanaegan added. “You go into the freezer, and when you see someone coming out … It’s like opening a closet and seeing someone come out like in a horror movie. You’ll get scared.”
“Our team handled this situation bravely and ethically,” Sarabeth’s said in a statement. The restaurant is expected to reopen Monday, an employee said.
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