World Trade Center BASE Jumpers ArrestedBy: Mike Tuttle - March 25, 2014
According to ABC News, four men who are accused in the BASE jumping incident at One World Trade Center Freedom Tower back in September of last year have turned themselves in to police.
Three of the men, 27-year-old Marko Markovich, 33-year-old Andrew Rossig, and 32-year-old James Brady were accused of the jump itself. Another, 29-year-old Kyle Hartwell, was accused of acting as lookout on the street below.
The four face criminal charges in the stunt, including third-degree burglary, which is a felony, and reckless endangerment and jumping from a structure, which are misdemeanors.
We brought you a story recently about a teenager who had broken in to the One World Trade Center construction area, made his way through a hole in the fence, up an elevator accompanied by a union elevator operator, past a sleeping guard, and took pictures from the rooftop and spire of the building.
In this case, the jumpers filmed the jump, but did not release anything to YouTube.
“Our intent was never for this to go public,” Rossig said. “We never posted the video footage. People didn’t know about it. We kept things quiet. As far as we were concerned, no one ever needed to know.”
In fact, the men were surprised that anyone came looking for them at all.
“It’s six months after the fact,” Rossig said. “We were a little bit shocked that they spent that much time and energy continuing to pursue something that they knew was not a terroristic act.”
As for why they did it, he said, “A peaceful, quiet moment looking at the world from a different place, a place that most people don’t ever get to see.”
“It was illegal, you know, we never meant to upset anybody or anything like that,” Brady said. “It was a very simple thing. A positive, simple thing.”
But police see things differently. NYPD Commissioner William Bratton indicated that they pursued these arrests for six months in order to send a message to other would-be daredevils.
“These men violated the law and placed themselves, as well as others, in danger,” Bratton said. “These arrests should send a message to anyone thinking about misusing a landmark this way. They will be tracked down and they will face serious charges. Being a thrill-seeker does not give immunity from the law.”
Especially after the parkour stunt a few days back, perhaps police saw a need to let folks know that they will pursue prosecution. Otherwise, One World Trade Canter could become a target of a new kind – one for thrill seekers – and an embarrassing situation for the people who are assigned to protect this Trade Center tower from threats – foreign or domestic.
Watch the jump, in its entirety. Go full screen with it, since it is HD. It is a real thrill all the way through.
Image via YouTube