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Planning on jumping off a bridge any time soon? You wont get any sympathy from one state lawmaker. According to Senator Marty Golden, people who willingly jump off tall buildings in a single bound are no heroes. Theyre clowns, he said. And Golden aint laughing. The ex-cop intends to criminalize what he considers to be a reckless act. Golden plans to introduce legislation in Albany that he hopes will keep BASE jumpers groundedeven though its unclear how manyif anyjumpers ever launch themselves from Brooklyns portfolio of iconic structures. Its amazing that the state didnt have this piece of legislation before, Golden told this paper. These senseless acts deplete the financial resources of building owners, businesses and the city, he continued. BASE is an acronym, referring to the objects from which a person can jump, including bridge, antenna, span, and earth. The sport, in which participants are equipped with parachutes and plenty of moxie, is an offshoot of skydiving. Goldens law would create a class D felony for reckless endangerment for any individual jumping off a typical BASE structure five floors or higher. The legislation would, however, allow the city and the building owner the right to grant a waiver under certain circumstances. There is at least one documented jump in Brooklyns pastback when William Howard Taft was president. According to the website Apexbase.com, stuntman Frederick Rodman Law is said to have done a static line jump (a method of parachute deployment) from the Brooklyn Bridge on April 14, 1912. Law also jumped from the Statue of Liberty and the Bankers Trust Building on Wall Street. BASE jumping gained widespread attention last April after Californian Jeb Corliss attempted a jump from the observation deck of the Empire State Building. At the time, Corliss was arrested, but Justice Michael Ambrecht recently tossed out an indictment against Corliss, a professional BASE jumper and host of the Discovery Channel program Stunt Junkies. The prosecution argued that Corliss acted with depraved indifference. The judge ruled that that Corliss was experienced enough not to endanger his life or anyone elses. Golden was not impressed. Every now and again we get these Spider-men around the city who want to get into newspapers, and do it at the risk of injuring themselves or others, the state lawmaker said. I believe the NYPD needs this, he added. The police, according to reports, will continue to arrest anyone attempting to ape Corliss stuntruling or no ruling. We need to stop these [people] trying to make a name at the citys expense. They need to stop doing it here and go some place else, Golden suggested. Tom Buchanan, a Vermont-based skydiving instructor whos been a BASE jumper for over 20 years explained to FOX News the daredevils mindset. BASE jumpers, like most adventure seekers, are motivated by a variety of things, he said. Some are attracted to the risks and enjoy working to minimize those risks. Some accept the risks and treat BASE jumping as a wild game of Russian roulette. Some are intrigued by the illegal side of the sport and enjoy the cat-and-mouse aspect of getting away with jumps. Some are ego-focused and groove on the notoriety of their involvement. Some are very normal people who simply take skydiving up a level, and appreciate the thrill of meeting an exceptional challenge. Golden, who said he would never try the sport, said there exist appropriate places to engage in extreme base jumpingbut the city of New York is not one of them. As Golden sees it, BASE jumping is sneaky, somewhat brutish, and short, as jumpers disappear quickly once they bag their leap. This is something done in the dark of night, without anyone knowing and it frightens people, he said.
©2007 Community Newspaper Group
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