BASE jumpers plunge from vandalized downtown L.A. skyscraper

The abandoned skyscraper covered in graffiti in downtown Los Angeles is still causing nearby residents and law enforcement officials major headaches.

Illicit activity surrounding Oceanwide Plaza has increased significantly since it was vandalized late last month, with more vandals, partiers and even BASE jumpers heading to the site of what some taggers called “L.A. graffiti history.

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The latest video to go viral surrounding the derelict luxury complex that sits on 12th and Flower streets depicts individuals BASE jumping from the top of the building; other videos show vandals inching along the exterior edge of the building hundreds of feet in the air with no safety equipment.

  • Individuals seen BASE jumping from vandalized DTLA skyscraper as authorities continue crackdown on illicit activity 
    The latest videos to go viral surrounding the derelict luxury complex depicts individuals base jumping from the top of the building. (Instagram/@nicksozonov)
  • Individuals seen BASE jumping from vandalized DTLA skyscraper as authorities continue crackdown on illicit activity 
    The latest videos to go viral surrounding the derelict luxury complex depicts individuals base jumping from the top of the building. (Instagram/@bombingsci)
  • Individuals seen BASE jumping from vandalized DTLA skyscraper as authorities continue crackdown on illicit activity 
    The latest videos to go viral surrounding the derelict luxury complex depicts individuals base jumping from the top of the building. (Instagram/@nicksozonov)
  • Individuals seen BASE jumping from vandalized DTLA skyscraper as authorities continue crackdown on illicit activity 
    The latest videos to go viral surrounding the derelict luxury complex depicts individuals base jumping from the top of the building. (Instagram/@nicksozonov)

People who live in neighboring buildings say they have seen individuals breaking into the building to throw a dance party on one of the floors. Others were even seen cooking and doing target practice inside the building, residents said, and they fear that it’s only a matter of time before a community member’s safety is jeopardized.

“I get it…it’s fun and it’s something to do, but we don’t want anyone to get hurt…people are risking their lives to get up there and leaning on these ledges,” one man who lives nearby told KTLA. “There is a concern for safety.”

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The Los Angeles Police Department has deployed multiple units to patrol all sides of the property and combat what LAPD Chief Michel Moore says “…isn’t art. It’s a crime.”

“Our people remain at the site as the city mobilizes resources to remove the graffiti and fortify the location,” Moore said on X, formerly Twitter. “All this in an effort to avoid a tragic fall or other calamity.”

The first round of arrests was announced on Feb. 1 when two suspects were taken into custody, LAPD said. Another four people were arrested six days later, and three more were arrested on Tuesday morning, police confirmed to KTLA 5 reporter Annie Rose Ramos and cameraman John Neis, the latter of whom saw the three individuals hop a fence and take off.

  • Video shows daredevil tagger on ledge of downtown L.A. skyscraper
    Video footage shows a tagger traversing a ledge on one of three unfinished skyscrapers in downtown Los Angeles. (GRAFFTV)
  • Video shows daredevil tagger on ledge of downtown L.A. skyscraper
    Video footage shows a tagger traversing a ledge on one of three unfinished skyscrapers in downtown Los Angeles. (GRAFFTV)
  • Tagger graffitis 27 stories of skyscraper in downtown Los Angeles
    Image from video posted to the Citizen App of a person that appears to be tagging Oceanwide Plaza on Jan. 30, 2024. (Citizen app)
  • Taggers have graffitied what appears to be more than 25 stories of a downtown Los Angeles skyscraper that's been sitting dormant for several years.
    Taggers have graffitied what appears to be more than 25 stories of a downtown Los Angeles skyscraper that’s been sitting dormant for several years. (Robert Gauthier/Los Angeles Times via Getty Images)
  • Vandalized skyscraper
    Footage shared to the Citizen app shows police searching a vandalized downtown L.A. skyscraper on Feb. 6, 2024.
  • Downtown LA Graffiti
    More than 27 stories of the vacant Oceanwide Plaza were covered in graffiti. (Carolynn Yao)

More suspects were taken into custody over the weekend, authorities confirmed, with spray paint cans and an illegal firearm having been recovered during at least one of the arrests.

According to local Councilman Kevin de León, a total of 23 individuals have been arrested for trespassing on the property since Monday, most of whom are in their mid 20s to 40s and do not live in the area.

“Someone’s going to fall to their death,” de León told KTLA on Tuesday morning. “It’s just not lost on me that out of the 23 people that have been arrested since Monday morning, we are seeing folks in their 40s and 50s still doing this.”

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De León confirmed that he had made contact with the Chinese developer of the building, who appeared “very apologetic and courteous” over the phone.

“The owners are across the Pacific Rim in Beijing,” de León said. “If I have to go to China, I’ll go to China and deal with them, but my understanding is that they have other properties in the United States and China that they have gone belly-up on.”

The L.A. City Council has ordered the developer to remove all fencing and barriers from the property — which have been there since the project ran out of money in 2019, per the Los Angeles Times — and properly secure the building by Saturday.

As for whether that will actually happen, de León says he has “little faith.”

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