Fall from ledge ruled a suicide in Winsted — (Republican American)

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Republican American

Tuesday, November 16, 2004

By Bryan Sundie

WINSTED — Vicki Sobol choked back tears Monday as she remembered Saturday afternoon — when her 32-year-old fiance, long a sufferer of clinical depression, fell from a fourth-story window ledge to his death.

“I would have done anything to prevent this,” Sobol said of Christopher Malinowsky. “I loved him so much.”

The couple, engaged since January, got into an argument inside their Winchester Hotel apartment at 5 Elm St., Sobol said. She stayed in the bedroom, but he walked out. The couple needed a bit of space to cool off, she said.

Sobol didn’t realize it, but Malinowsky headed toward one of the living room’s big windows, its sill about knee high. The apartment’s television set was on, muting the sound of the window opening. “I didn’t even hear him go out there,” she said.

But then Sobol heard him yelling. She hurried from the bedroom and found him dangling from a ledge, about 40 feet above the pavement. Sobol said he had decided against his original impulse — to leap from the window. She tried to rescue him.

“I was trying to pull him in. I was trying to save his life,” she said. “I wasn’t strong enough.”

Malinowsky, formerly of Montville, fell about 3:40 p.m. His body hit a car waiting at a stop light, and then the pavement. He died at the scene.

It all happened quickly. Winsted police, a block away, were called as the situation unfolded. Officers arrived within 90 seconds, but it was too late.

The investigation remains open, police said, but there is no evidence of criminal activity. The state’s Office of the Chief Medical Examiner has ruled Malinowsky’s death a suicide.

Sobol, 33, met Malinowsky in Seymour. They moved in together in Winsted; he proposed shortly afterward. They planned to marry in May.

“He was a good person,” Sobol said of Malinowsky, who often babysat her 3-year-old niece. In recent weeks the couple planned their wedding, checking out invitations and doing usual nuptial tasks. He was handy with a video camera, often taping vacations and other events. He recently took up cataloging the couple’s memories in scrapbooks. “He was a good man,” she said.

Sobol said she was aware of Malinowsky’s illness, which she considered separate from his good character. She said his depression, for which he took medication, was crippling and prevented him from working full-time. He worked one night a week as a disc jockey at the Gold Bar Cafe in Torrington. He enjoyed karaoke and music, particularly the fare played on popular radio stations.

Sobol couldn’t say for certain whether her fiance had taken his medication Saturday, but she questioned him about it often. “I asked him every day and he said, ‘Yes,'” she said.

But thoughts about his medication were in the deep recesses of her mind Monday. Instead, grieving at her parents’ High Street home, Sobol focused on the good times she shared with Malinowsky. “He was loved and will be missed,” she said.

Copyright @ 2004 Republican-American