Is it legal to parachute from a building?

The three men who parachuted down from the top of the World Trade Center last September and their lookout were arrested Monday.

But aside from the obvious crime of trespassing, is it legal to parachute from a building in New York City?

The answer is no, if the building is more than 50 feet tall. In 2008, after two men climbed the New York Times building, the City Council voted to make it illegal to climb, jump, or hang from any structure over 50 feet, including buildings, bridges, statues, cranes, signs, and monuments.

“We had to act before New York City became Disneyland for daredevils,” said Councilmember Peter Vallone, Jr., who introduced the legislation as the chair of the Public Safety Committee. “Hopefully now, people will realize that if they pull a stunt that endangers our first responders and pedestrians, they will end up in a jail cell.”

The law turned the crime, which previously was only punishable as disorderly conduct with a maximum of 15 days in jail and a fine, into a class A misdemeanor with up to one year in jail, a fine of up to $1,000, or both.

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