BASE Jumpers Sought by Police

Two men in Salt Lake City decided to spend their afternoon in an unusual way – jumping off a building.

The men leaped from the 26th floor of the LDS Church Office Building in downtown Salt Lake City in mid-November 2010, startling pedestrians and causing some to think they were committing suicide. But the men, who were BASE jumpers (BASE is an acronym standing for buildings, antennae, spans and earth), deployed their parachutes at the last second and landed on a busy roadway before escaping in a silver SUV. Police are still looking for them and two accomplices.

BASE jumpers are thrill seekers who jump off buildings, bridges, cliffs and other tall objects and freefall before opening their parachutes with just seconds to spare. It’s not the first time anyone has jumped from a tall building in Salt Lake City. Two men jumped from the same building in 1995, and just months later, two men jumped 20 stories from the Key Bank Building.

BASE Jumpers Allegedly Trespassed to Make Their Jump

The two recent jumpers, if captured, could face charges that vary from disorderly conduct to trespassing. But police are less concerned about the charges than they are about protecting people below who could get hurt in the event something terrible went wrong – such as a malfunctioning parachute.

Stopping the jumpers requires more vigilance from building security personnel, who need to look for unusual clothing or larger-than-usual backpacks. The jumpers were captured on surveillance video entering the building and police have spoken to witnesses who know the men, which led to their identification. Police had yet to arrest them and were awaiting their surrender.

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