Judge blasts 1 World Trade Center BASE jumpers as he refuses to toss their felony charges

By Barry Paddock, Shayna Jacobs New York Daily News

A Manhattan judge refused to toss felony charges against three 1 World Trade Center BASE jumpers and their lookout, calling their stunt “inexcusable self-indulgence” in a decision filed Tuesday.

Lawyers for Andrew Rossig, James Brady, Marko Markovich and accused accomplice Kyle Hartwell argued that burglary counts should be tossed against the group because they were not even inside it when they leaped from the 1,776-foot unfinished tower on September 30, 2013.

“Turning to the incident itself, defendants’ thrill-seeking conduct is nothing more than inexcusable self-indulgence. The defendants also exhibited a callous disregard for the safety of the community,” Manhattan Supreme Court Justice Charles Solomon wrote in his decision.

“In the Court’s opinion, a dismissal would have no effect on curbing defendants’ future behavior and might even encourage others to replicate what the defendants did,” Solomon wrote.

The judge used Rossig’s own seized diary against him — saying he personally documented past “mishaps” in his jumping adventures, “including landing in trees, hitting power and cable lines, landing in water, and hits or near misses with various objects.”

He also said it was “fortunate” that no one was hurt “given all of the unpredictable variables.”

The jumpers say they are skilled and experienced, and that they took extensive safety precautions.

“We expect that when a jury hears both sides of the story not just one side they will see this was not the reckless act that the judge thought it was,” said Rossig’s lawyer, Timothy Parlatore.

Rossig suggested his diary entries were misinterpreted.

“They consider them mishaps but a lot of times when we make jumps we plan particular landings that may be a better place to go such as water or trees,” Rossig said after a brief court appearance.

The jumpers also argued that they exposed a glaring security glitch at the terror target and they had the support of some family members of 9/11 victims.

“If these men were able to easily slip through a hole in the fence and encounter no security, then there is a huge problem at the WTC site, and no lessons were learned from the nearly 3,000 people who perished on 9/11, including our heroic sons,” wrote retired FDNY Deputy Chief Jim Riches and Sally Regenhard of the 9/11 Parents and Families of Firefighters and WTC Victims.

A trial date was set for Jan. 15.

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