Thursday, April 7, 2011

Man Arrested After BASE Jumping from Downtown Chicago Building

SW was arrested this week for BASE jumping off a Downtown Chicago Building. Typically busts like this are best kept quiet but since it's made national news and is being reported by dozens of news sites includes Reuters and The Huffington Post then what is the harm?

Situations like this suck. In this case it appears SW at least took the necessary precautions. It is reported he was busted at 2:40AM on a Sunday morning doing a solo. So unless he was jumping near the bar district it looks like he really was trying not to be seen. (Because who in their right mind would jump from a building by a bunch of bars right as they are letting out...especially as their very first 150ft) Anyway it could have just been a case of wrong place at the wrong time and SW didn't see the cop. If you're jumping in a downtown area there are going to be cops...that's just the way it is. If you're lucky then no one ever looks up when they hear your canopy open. Everyone just assumes some poor fool is getting shot in the alley because the human brain reasons that loud bang in a downtown area has a much higher chance of being a gun shot than a parachute opening.

Two unfortunate things came from this bust:
     1) The building is burned, at least temporarily. Which sucks, because reports vary but claim he jumped somewhere between the 20th and 25th floor so it was either a low freefall, or more likely a static line. Apparently the building will eventually be over 90 stories tall however....which means in the foreseeable future there will be a Slider Up Downtown situation. The mere thought gives me a tingly feeling in my nether regions. As long as it's left alone then the B will be rejumpable however. Road trip to Chi-town anyone?
     2) SW was arrested for "reckless conduct." Reuters reports "The officer took actions to prevent danger to pedestrians in the area, himself, and vehicles." How many spectators pedestrians have ever been injured by a BASE jumper? None. That's how many. Yet every  time an Urban story makes the news it is sensationalized and the public gets all rabble roused as if thousands of BASE jumpers are going to start falling out of the sky like hail crashing  all around them smashing their poor foo-foo Yorkie as they take it for a midnight stroll. 

In all honesty part of this sport is not caring what the public thinks. It's easy for us to use their misinformation to our advantage. The less truth they know, the easier it is for us to do what we love most. It's just unfortunate some use this misinformation to rally against us. They can rabble all they want though, I will forever be an Urban Night Ninja.