Heh. Jeb Corliss, who tried to jump off the Empire State Building in April, was in court yesterday, asking that the charges be dropped. Corliss, a "renowned daredevil," wore a fatsuit to hide his parachute and video camera when he rode the elevator up to the 86th floor. There, he changed and tried to jump off the side, freaking out tourists. Security was able to restrain him because someone called in a tip and alerted them!
The city charged Corliss with reckless endangerment, but his lawyer, Mark Jay Heller, presented an interesting defense. The NY Times reports:
The lawyer, Mark Jay Heller, argued that what his client did was analogous to the case of a New York judge who tried to commit suicide by lying in front of his oven with the gas running. The judge’s conviction for showing depraved indifference to the lives of his neighbors was reduced to a lesser charge in July. The state’s highest court ruled that he acted out of depression, not moral deficiency.
Mr. Heller said that his client, Mr. Corliss, had made more than 1,000 jumps around the world, without hurting anyone. Besides, the lawyer said, there is no law against jumping off a building in New York State.
Further, the lawyer said that the officer were the one who showed "depraved indifference" because they handcuffed him while he was wearing a parachute: “If the parachute opens, the thrust of it would separate him from his limbs."
The judge, Michael Ambrecht, found Heller's argument "very persuasive" and will make a decision in December. Corliss said, "I live in a country whose motto is 'Land of the free.' I don't feel very free here."