Four men from New York, Andrew Rossig, James Brady, Marko Markovich and Kyle Hartwell, were charged for skydiving from One World Trade Center. The dangerous act occurred on September 30, 2013 around 3am. Security cameras caught two men wearing all black and helmets, while the other two stayed on the ground level as the lookout. The camera footage showed the men landing between the Goldman Sachs building and the Conrad Hotel. They were carrying parachutes however, investigators were unsure at the time whether they jumped from a building or a plane. Naturally, the fear it may have been a terrorist attack came into play. The security guard on duty must have fell asleep on the job or clearly wasn’t paying attention, because the men were not arrested at the scene. Instead, authorities received search warrants for each of the men’s homes and discovered GoPro camera footage of the jump. Footage of the jump was posted on several Internet sites late Monday, but it is not clear if the video was the same one obtained by police.
According to a statement issued by NYPD Commissioner William Bratton, all four men have been charged with burglary, reckless endangerment and jumping from a structure. Bratton stated “These men violated the law and placed themselves, as well as others, in danger. These arrests should send a message to anyone thinking about misusing a landmark this way”. They are all expected to surrender to the NYPD’s 1st Precinct on Thursday. This is not the first time these men participated in dangerous stunts like this. In December 2012, Rossig and Brady were arrested for attempting to jump from a tower in Co-op City, located in the Bronx. According to the Bronx Times, the duo and two other men were on the roof of a 33-floor building with parachutes, and were caught by the cops. In 2008, Rossig received a summons for disorderly conduct after jumping off an Orange County bridge.
Rossig’s attorney, Timothy Parlatore, stated “Certainly it should be embarrassing to the city that after six months they’ve been investigating this and yet they’ve made no efforts to fix the hole in the fence to the No. 1 terror target in the world”. Brady’s attorney, Andrew Mancilla, agreed and stated “My client intended no harm. There was no harm caused and he wants nothing more than to put this behind him. One of the first things my client said to me was how surprised he was at how there was no security. How easy it was to just walk right up there in something that the mayor has just recently described as the No. 1 terrorist target in the world”.
The incident has raised many questions regarding the security at the lower Manhattan site, which is supposed to be one of the most tightly protected in the country. The site is owned by the Port Authority of New York and New Jersey. However, Port Authority has not made a statement about the case at this time. See the video of the dangerous jump HERE.