A group of daredevils is arrested after a stunt in which three of the members jumped off the top of One World Trade Center. They could face up to seven years in prison if convicted.
James Brady, Andrew Rossig, and Marco Markovich filmed the BASE jump (Warning: Graphic Language) in September of last year. Late one night the three men gained access to New York's Freedom Tower through a hole in a fence on the site. Brady, who worked in construction on the 104-story skyscraper, knew of a blind spot in the site's surveillance camera. After entering the building, the men took the stairs to the roof of the tower, said a prayer, and then jumped 1,776 feet down.
"It was one of the first things my client said to me ... how surprised he was at how there was no security whatsoever," Rossig's attorney, Tim Parlatore, told the media, "how easy it was to walk right up there."
Video of the BASE jump hit YouTube on Monday. Filmed with a GoPro camera by Brady, the clip starts on the roof of the Freedom Tower. After a successful jump, Brady scampers away from the view of drivers, folds up his parachute, and stops the camera.
The three skydivers and Kyle Hartwell, accused of being the group's lookout man on the ground, all turned themselves in yesterday to police. According to Parlatore, the original deal with authorities gave the men until Thursday to do so; however, that changed after reports surfaced of the incident. All four men have pleaded not guilty to charges of burglary, reckless endangerment, and violation of a local law.
News of the jump comes on the heels of a similar security breach last week in which a New Jersey teen also sneaked into the tower. Justin Casquejo used a hole in the fence to enter the site. The 16-year-old took an elevator and stairs to the top, where the guard on duty was allegedly sleeping. Casquejo was arrested by police and faces one count of misdemeanor trespassing.
"We take security and these types of infractions very seriously and will prosecute violators," Joe Dunne, chief security officer for the Port Authority, said in a statement to The Associated Press. "We continue to reassess our security posture at the site and are constantly working to make this site as secure as possible."