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World Trade Center Skydivers Avoid Jail Sentence

By Christopher Coble, Esq. | Last updated on

Two skydivers who parachuted off 1 World Trade Center were spared jail time on Monday, but got a stern talking-to from the judge in their case.

A jury convicted the men in June and the prosecutor in the case asked for 60 days in jail for each of them. Instead, the judge punished them with fines and community service.

An Expensive Flight

Andrew Rossig and James Brady were both fined $2,000; Rossig was also given 200 hours of community service, while Mr. Brady was given 250 hours. Both, along with a third compatriot Marko Markovich, were convicted of reckless endangerment and violating an ordinance prohibiting jumping off city buildings. (Markovich will be sentenced next week.) The three were acquitted of burglary charges for unlawfully entering the building with the intent to commit a crime.

For the endangerment charge alone, the men were looking at a year in jail under the statute. Prosecutors were seeking jail time because "[t]hey have done everything to promote themselves and celebrate their perceived accomplishment," according to assistant district attorney Joseph Giovannetti. The three are experienced skydivers, recording the jump on helmet cams, and even appeared in Maxim magazine.

A Slap on the Wrist

State Supreme Court Justice Juan M. Merchan may have gone easy on the jail time, but he didn't mince words about what the thought of the men's stunt. According to The New York Times:

"They made a very poor decision," Justice Merchan said, calling the tower "an iconic building constructed on hallowed ground."

"These defendants tarnished the building before it even opened," the judge added, "and sullied the memories of those who jumped on 9/11 not for sport, but because they had to."

As for his thoughts on the men themselves, Merchan said they appeared to be "decent men" and three months in jail "would not serve the best interests of our community."

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