World Trade Center jumpers convicted at NY trial

  • AFP, New York
  • Updated: Jun 23, 2015 04:19 IST

Three Americans were convicted at trial Monday with base jumping and reckless endangerment after skydiving off the World Trade Center in the middle of the night nearly two years ago.

New York residents James Brady, 33, Marko Markovich, 28, and Andrew Rossig, 34, were convicted on three counts and face up to one year in prison when they are sentenced in August, prosecutors said.

The trio walked onto the building's then construction site at 3:00 am on September 30, 2013, and climbed 104 flights to where Brady, who worked at the site, had hidden their gear. They then leaped off and parachuted down to the streets below.

Police were tipped off when the manager of a local bagel store called 911 after watching one of the men land. The defendants were arrested six months later following a painstaking investigation.

Manhattan District Attorney Cyrus Vance said they had boasted about, rather than acknowledged the danger of their actions. "The defendants took pride in their perceived accomplishment, and seemed to relish evasion of authorities. Today, a jury found their stunt to be reckless and illegal," he said.

The parachute jump triggered fears about lax security at the building, built on part of the site destroyed in the September 11, 2001 attacks and an emblem of the city's rejuvenation.

A video of the base jumpers' daring nighttime descent was posted on YouTube and has been viewed an astonishing 3.5 million times.

One World Trade Center, which opened last year, is the tallest building in the United States.

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