Three extreme-skydiving enthusiasts accused of parachuting off of the World Trade Center in September 2013 were found guilty Monday of reckless endangerment, reckless endangerment of property and BASE jumping — all misdemeanors — but were acquitted on felony charges of burglary, the most serious offense.
James Brady, 33, Marko Markovich, 28, and Andrew Rossig, 34, were in New York State Supreme Court to hear the verdict.
“In the nearly two years since this BASE jump occurred, the three men who parachuted off One World Trade Center have yet to acknowledge the dangerousness or cost of their actions,” District Attorney Cyrus R. Vance said.
The three extreme-skydiving enthusiasts are expected to be sentenced in August.
At 3 a.m. on September 30, 2013, the men entered 1 World Trade Center and climbed up 104 flights of stairs to the tower's communication ring, Vance said. They then picked up equipment left by Brady, who worked as an iron worker at the construction site, and parachuted off of the building one by one.
Upon witnessing one of the skydivers land on the streets below, a manager at a local bagel shop called 911.
Following a joint investigation between the Manhattan District Attorney’s Office, the NYPD and the Port Authority Police Department, the defendants were arrested in March 2014.
A judge refused to toss out the felony charges against them in November 2014, saying they displayed "inexcusable self-indulgence."
The New Yorkers pleaded not guilty to felony burglary, reckless endangerment and other charges in the leap, which was captured in a YouTube video. The stunt raised questions about security at the then-unfinished skyscraper.
The parachutists acknowledge making the jump. They said that they didn't imperil anyone and that the charges are overreaching by embarrassed authorities.
But the judge said they created a "substantial risk" of injury to people below.