200803jebc.jpgYesterday we noted Council Member Peter Vallone Jr.'s latest mission: putting an end to stunts. Of course, one of the best examples of this daredevil activity is brought to us by Jeb Corliss; after attempting to jump off the Empire State Building in 2006 Bloomberg wasn't too happy with this thrill-seeker. Or the judge that dropped the charges against him. But now the city is revisiting the case and trying to appeal the decision.

Possibly heading back to court soon, we're guessing his lawyer Mark Jay Heller wouldn't want him leaving public comments about the incident. However, yesterday Corliss responded to both The NY Sun's article, as well as our own. In his comments he notes that base jumpers are not the problem, it's the people who jump to commit suicide that are disregarding the safety of others. He goes on to describe the real issue, the lack of security on the ESB's observation deck

"As you can see from the video of me at the Empire, a person can get over those bars in about 10 seconds with 3 security guards standing 3 feet away. These security guards were tipped off that I was coming and they knew my whole plan. Yet they were still unable to stop me from getting over the bars.

Seems like their security is the issue here. This is not a legal issue, nor is it a suing me for 12 million $ issue. Neither one of those things will ever stop a suicide. This is an issue of implementing adequate security so suicides are no longer possible from their observation deck. No law will ever stop a suicide. No amount of money they sue me for will ever stop a suicide."

In a second comment he notes that parachuting from buildings should not be made illegal, as parachutes were originally made for people who needed to escape burning buildings. Maybe the city should work with him on training those working on high level floors how to base jump. Corliss himself declares, "I would much rather work with the Empire State Building and New York then against them."

His full comments can be read here and here. And a fun fact about his lawyer, Mark Jay Heller -- he's also the lawyer for the "Son of Sam" David Berkowitz, Steven Acevedo and is known as a "high- profile attorney who has been involved in a number of celebrity, divorce, paternity, child custody support and visitation cases." So, probably Britney Spears's lawyer, too.

UPDATE: Vallone, through his communications director, responds to Corliss. When we asked his office how many fatalities have been caused by people like Corliss, the response was, "To be honest, we're not aware of any fatalities related to BASE jumpers to date." Read his response after the jump.

First, our bill explicitly allows for jumpers who have "received permission from the property owner," which means that movie/TV stunts are under no threat.

Second, our bill only applies to people who are using some device (like a parachute) either to climb or jump from high structures. It is not meant to address suicide jumpers. While they may also pose a threat to the public, it seems implausible that we could deter such mentally unstable individuals with a mere misdemeanor charge.

We agree with Mr. Corliss that more security at the ESB and other high places would be better than less, but that has little to do with daredevils like himself who clearly flout security restrictions in order to further their own notoriety.

The simple fact is that actions like those of Mr. Corliss endager the public. Although he may be an "expert" at BASE jumping, there are many BASE jumps that go wrong, even those done by professionals. Even though there may not be scores of people jumping from NYC buildings every year, we believe that one innocent fatality is too many. If our law can stop this one accident, we consider it worthwhile.