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Wednesday, November 23, 2011

jumper escapes jail term after leaping off bridge in front of PD

Don't even think about it: California Highway Patrol officer Ben Grasmeck warning Steve Jester he'll go to jail if he jumps

When a 47-year-old man was facing arrest by California Highway Patrol, he took matters into his own hands by base jumping 270 feet off the Bixby Bridge in Big Sur.

Steve Jester, of Aptos, California, faced up to three years in jail for his stunt, but a Monterey County judge ruled this month that he will be placed on probation instead, and must enter an alcohol rehab programme.

The experienced base jumper, who was under the influence of alcohol at the time of his jump, was also found guilty by a jury of four charges including violence against a police officer, driving under the influence, possession of marijuana and disobeying police officer orders.

But he was found not guilty of making threats of violence against the officer, the jury decided, KSBW news reported.

Steve Jester, parachuted off the bridge in December last year, after CHP officer Ben Grasmeck walked up to him and said: ‘Don’t even think about it’.

But Jester defied the law, saying on video which was later posted on YouTube: ‘Oh, we’re so busted, but I’m gonna do it anyway.

Officer Grasmeck continued: ‘You’re under arrest if you jump’, to which Jester replied: I’m under arrest anyways, sorry I gotta do it.

The jumper then attempted to shake the officer’s hand in a bid to get him on good terms, but the officer wouldn’t participate.

Jester then said ‘let’s go’, and jumped off the bridge to glide down onto the sandy beach beneath as his friend filmed it.

He later admitted to the court that he had been drinking alcohol before driving to the bridge to jump.

Jester is said to be well respected within the California base jumping and sky diving community.

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