SAN DIEGO (KGTV) — Following the tragic death of a man who fell from a condominium building in University City, ABC 10News looks into the history of BASE jumping and parachuting in San Diego County.
BASE is an acronym for Building, Antenna, Span, and Earth. These are fixed spaces people may jump from during the thrill-seeking sport, and people have been base jumping in the San Diego area for decades.
In September 2015, the Pinnacle on the Park apartment building in San Diego's East Village neighborhood was only a month old when a man parachuted from the roof and landed in front of an SD Police cruiser.
At that time, Police said they questioned the man as he held his bagged parachute but ultimately did not cite him for anything because they were unable to prove he had actually jumped off the building.
Weeks prior to that incident, four men -- two of them Navy sailors -- jumped off the Coronado Bay Bridge. They were not cited. The driver of the car, however, was ticketed for stopping on the bridge, and another man driving a boat below was cited for going more than five miles per hour.
In September 2018, Nicholas Marinkovic, who also referred to himself as "the Professor of Adventure," was caught on camera BASE jumping and parachuting nearly 500 feet from a crane in East Village.
After making a safe landing in the middle of Market Street, Marinkovic was arrested after surrendering to police without incident. Following his release from police custody, Marinkovic told 10News Reporter Mimi Elkalla that he performed jumps all over the world and taught others how to BASE jump. He also said he did not understand what the big deal was.
In April 2019, two people were arrested after the pair leaped off a tall construction crane in East Village. Police said an officer was patrolling the Park Boulevard and G Street area when they spotted the couple was on top of a crane. After the pair jumped, officers went to the “landing zone” at 13th and F streets and arrested them.
Sadly, on Tuesday, March 22, a 48-year-old man jumped to his death after his parachute failed to deploy when he leaped off a 23-story condo building in University City.
It happened just before 10:30 p.m. in the 8800 block of Lombard Place at the Palisade UTC luxury apartment complex. The name of the victim has not been released to the public yet, but police say he was wearing full BASE jumping gear and a helmet at the time of his death.
Police believe the victim's 16-year-old daughter witnessed the tragic fall and she was up on the roof with her father to watch the BASE jump attempt.
Authorities say these stunts could lead to misdemeanor charges, bookable offenses, and citations. They hope to keep people from doing them so tragedies can be prevented.
Trespassing or disorderly conduct charges can also come from BASE jumping events.