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World Trade Center Base Jumpers Surrender, Face Felony Charges

Image: World Trade Center Base Jumpers Surrender, Face Felony Charges James Brady, left, and Andrew Rossig.

By Nick Sanchez   |   Tuesday, 25 Mar 2014 12:17 PM

Four men accused in September of jumping off the country's tallest building, 1 World Trade Center in downtown New York City, turned themselves in Monday to face charges of felony burglary, as well as multiple misdemeanors.

The development comes on the heels of another security breach at the structure March 16, when a 16-year-old New Jersey boy slipped past security guards and climbed to the top of the tower. As the former site of the 9/11 terrorist attacks, both incidents have raised questions about the building's security, The Associated Press reported.

The daredevils, James Brady, Andrew Rossig, Marko Markovich, and Kyle Hartwell, ages 27-33, were charged with a class-D felony for third-degree burglary, and class-A misdemeanors for both second-degree reckless endangerment and jumping from a structure.

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The extreme sport known as BASE jumping stands for "building, antenna, span or earth"— all the things one can jump off of and land safely using a parachute to break the fall.

Rossig described the jump as "very exhilarating" on the way to the police precinct, according to the AP. "It's a fair amount of free-fall time. You really get to enjoy the view of the city and see it from a different perspective."

Conversely, The Port Authority joined the NYPD in condemning the sky dive as a "lawless and selfish act that clearly endangered the public."

Police Commissioner William Bratton said the arrest should send a message to all thrill seekers that their interests do not exempt them from the law.

"One of the jumpers worked construction at the WTC and violated the spirit of respect and reverence for this sacred site that almost all connected with the WTC project feel," the agency added.

Commissioner Bratton said surveillance camera footage was used to track down the men in what became a six-month investigation.

All they had to go on was "a little snippet of video" of "someone landing on the West Side Highway with a parachute around 4 a.m.," Bratton told New York’s WABC-TV.

Despite eventual plans for $40 million worth of security measures like barriers and checkpoints, the men got onto the building by climbing through a gap in the fence – the same way the 16-year-old got up there just two weeks ago.

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