An Oakland man who fell to his death down an elevator shaft in San Francisco in late November may have been trying to escape when the elevator became stuck between floors, investigators said.
The San Francisco medical examiner's office ruled Dr. Daniel Kliman, 38, died accidentally, after the fall on Nov. 25 at the historic Sharon Building, where Kliman had been attending an Arabic language course, according to a report released Tuesday.
An elevator maintenance worker found Kliman's body at the bottom of the shaft on Dec. 1.
Kliman had been politically active in the Jewish community and in responding to anti-Israel demonstrations in the Bay Area.
Some in the community had speculated that his death might have involved foul play because of his political stances.
The medical examiner's report noted a preliminary investigation by the California Occupational Safety and Health Administration showed the elevator door had multiple defects and may have become stuck between the fourth and fifth floors of the building.
Kliman had apparently not known that night's class had been canceled.
He initially had trouble getting into the locked building, but was eventually let in and presumably went to the seventh floor, where the class was held, the report said.
The report was inconclusive as to whether Kliman may have become trapped in between floors and tried to pry open the doors with a pen, which was found in his hand, or may have returned to the elevator from the seventh floor and fallen down the shaft because the elevator was on the eighth floor.
Several other items were found on or near Kliman's body, including a cell phone, a smashed laptop, $1,576 cash and a book on "Teach Yourself Arabic," the report said.