BASE Jumper Startles Residents Near Big Walnut Park

by Katie Pyzyk December 15, 2011 at 12:20 pm 11,984 72 Comments

Residents near Big Walnut Park report being surprised by odd noises around 10:30 last night. When they checked outside, they discovered that someone had apparently performed a parachute jump off the WETA television tower.

The jumper reportedly became tangled when she landed in a tree in the 5200 block of N. 19th Rd. Onlookers say they saw her detach from her parachute and attempt to climb down the tree. She fell and was taken to the hospital for her injuries.

Police charged five people with trespassing for climbing the tower: three men, ages 48, 30 and 25, along with two women, ages 48 and 30. The jumper is listed as being from Litchfield, CT.

The parachute remains in a tree, which is in a residential backyard. So far, it’s unclear how it will be removed.

  • Grognak


  • Ed

    But government does not need to regulate cell phone use because we’re all such geniuses and can take care of ourselves without imposing costs on others.

    • KalashniKEV

      Government doesn’t need to regulate anything.

      (I still don’t see the tie in here…)

      • drax

        Well, start with the thought that maybe government needs to regulate BASE jumping from towers and work from there.

        • Steve O

          It’s already against the law. Why do you think there were arrests?

          • Zoning Victim

            The arrest was for trespassing, BTW.

          • drax

            Just commenting on “government doesn’t need to regulate anything.”

      • Ed

        Okay, Kalash:

        I am comparing the content of this post to some of the comments on the post about cell-phone use in cars from earlier today.

        Some of the comments about cell phones criticized the government for wanting to be a “nanny state.” The commenters believe that government rules regarding cell phone use while driving are not necessary, because we can drive just fine while using cell phones; because it is none of government’s business; etc.

        Well, those commenters might well argue that there should be no laws against BASE jumping because we can all BASE-jump just fine; it’s none of government’s business; it’s a liberal plot to control how we live; when we make mistakes jumping off of towers, there are no costs to anyone else; etc.

        (Are there any government rules against BASE jumping?? I don’t even know, Kalash. You’ve got me there.)

        I thought it was humorous that, just as people were commenting about how we are all competent and we don’t need no stinkin’ rules tellin’ us what to do, the arlnow folks were completing a story about six people who think it’s a great idea to jump off of towers. It goes to show that sometimes, I think, we do need rules.

        Now, do you think you can haul some ordnance over there to shoot down the parachute from the tree?

        • Zoning Victim

          Are we going to pass laws that it’s illegal to hurt yourself, now? I mean come on, should we never race cars, parasail, BASE jump, rock climb? What about sports? There’s plenty of evidence that playing football is a lot dumber than BASE jumping or talking on your mobile phone. The list of things that are fun to do but dangerous could go on forever. This type of thinking, that the government should regulate everything out of existence that could possibly get someone hurt even if it’s only themself, is exactly why people are against all of this crap. They were already breaking the law by trespassing, and now there is a parachute stuck in someone’s tree, big deal. If the homeowner has to have it removed, then they can make the BASE jumper pay for the cost.

          • KalashniKEV

            1) Are you personally offended by BASE jumping or something? The issue was that he trespassed. You are allowed to BASE jump off of something you own… why wouldn’t you be?

            2) If the ban happy libs ban texting while driving, people will just do it anyway. If they ban base jumping, it’s not going to stop anyone at all. It’s like prohibition.

          • drax

            I think that there should be a waiver you sign where you say you won’t expect any public assistance for yourself or your family if you do something stupid and are disabled or killed. Then have at it.

      • BoredHouseWife

        not when you have natural selection

  • OX4


    Please keep all cats indoors as they may be crushed by BASE jumpers.

    • Wilber

      Too True!

  • The costs for the medical and police response should be charged to those trespassing.

    • Bluemontsince1961


    • Village Genius

      Maybe the County Board can give the BASE jumpers housing, free public transportation, use of all private buildings, and anything else they want. Don’t worry, the taxpayers will pay for it.

      • Josh S

        Nice stretch….

      • KalashniKEV

        I’d rather build a BASE jump off than a Bum Mansion… with a great view of the DC skyline and monuments it might actually MAKE money- Rather than losing it by the boat load like Human Pets, Trolley to the Ghetto, and ArtisFAIL.

        • Wilber

          No prob. Move.

        • Josh S

          You seem to have the impression that the purpose of government is to make money.

  • North Arlington

    It does not surprise me to find this type of nonsense going on in South Arlington. A real brain surgeon, this one.

    • Look it up!

      Umm. This is in North Arlington. Use a map!

    • DB

      Last I checked, the park was still in north Arlington…

    • Dude Where’s My Car

      WETA studios are in South Arlington, but apparently the transmission tower is used to bring down property values in North Arlington.

      • Josh S

        Juuuust on the edge of not being able to tell if this was a joke or not.
        Given that, you know, all of the property owners bordering this tower could sell their houses tomorrow and easily get half a million dollars plus each….

        • jan

          even tho’ they paid $750,000.00

        • Landed Gentry

          which is probably a good $100,000 than they would get if there were no tower there.

      • bred

        I believe that this tower is the original TV one for WETA which went on the air about 50 years ago. (I think that the TV signal now comes from Bethesda.) There is some developer building/selling new homes in the shadows of the WETA and the old AT&T tower. Sa;es seem to be slow but the homes are selling. Anyone moving into this area within the past, say, 50 years clearly knows about the towers and can’t bitch!

        • Lou

          The main tower behind the post office was for the C&P switching station. There was also the WAVA tower. The microwave horns for the C&P/Bell link were removed years ago. I am not sure what it used for now.

    • Voice of Reason

      It does not surprise ME at all that South Arlington has apparently found a way to sneak into North Arlington.

    • jack

      Can’t swing an indoor cat in this post without hitting a troll.

      • Troll

        HEY!!!! STOP THAT!!!!

      • V Dizzle

        Mmm…swinging cats…

  • CW

    I tried to look it up but couldn’t find anything; and I don’t make it out that way too often so I can’t explicitly visualize this particular tower. How tall is it?

  • Dude Where’s My Car

    No RF burns from the tower? Flew oner numerous overhead power lines and failed to be electrocuted? I AWARD YOU NO POINTS, AND MAY GOD HAVE MERCY ON YOUR SOUL.

  • brendan

    this is special… hope the person is okay but pretty frickin stupid.

  • drax


  • David

    Was hoping for a new entry into this year’s Darwin Awards.

  • ArlingtonWay

    Seriously. Someone came all the way from CT to jump off this crappy tower? Pathetic. Guess they’ve never heard of New York. One or two tall structures there as I understand it. At least if they were here, they could have tried some thing bigger. BASE jumping off Chris Zimmerman’s ego, for example.

    • BlueLoom


    • Zoning Victim

      Too funny, but I seriously doubt that they came down just to jump off of this tower. They were probably zigzagging around to different jump sites.

  • charlie

    did something interesting actually happen in Arlington?

    great, now there will be a regulation against parachuting into trees.

  • ArLater

    I bet the threat of BASE jumpers in that area has brought down the property value of the surrounding houses tremendously.

  • novasteve

    I’m shocked that one of them wasn’t a Gen Yer… So you got boomers and their stupid Gen Y idiot children behaving like idiots.

    • drax

      Drivin’ around in their automatic transmissions.

  • Suburban Not Urban

    So, Imagine if they had landed in the street after dark just as a car was passing – I hope they throw the book at this folks and they are forced to skip town to avoid prosecution – removing a fewer more dumb… from the area.

  • YTK

    She’s lucky she didn’t hit those high tension wires.

    • ARLahora

      Well, if you pay close attention, she was far away from them, she had to hit bunch a trees a house and then wires….

  • lol

    lol Arlington is stupid

  • GenY

    These are just the most ridiculous comments I’ve ever read…. you people arguing over north vs. south arlington….. really?? read your posts! There is a lot of world outside of nova…..

    And anyone who suggests police / fire rescue should be paid for by the jumpers…. they didn’t call for help (1)… and (2) for all you people sitting on your computers eating chocolate bars and drinking diet sodas, I hope one day they make you pay for the fire / rescue required to get your heart-attacked self to a hospital because you never left your sofa instead of getting out and exercising climbing TV antennas…..

    the world would be a lot better place if people like you who are so concerned with the govt. intervening in your life, would stop intervening in everyone elses life & mind your own business! You can START by going out and LIVING life instead of reading about it on the net!

    • 5555624

      Whoa! There’s “a lot of world outside of” Arlington? Uh, then why did they come to Arlington to base jump?

      (Not to mention Donaldson Run is in Arlington!)

    • Quoth the Raven

      I’m thinking that for most residents of NOVA, it might be easier to “mind our own business” if there wasn’t a parachute stuck in my tree. Some silly ass leaping off a tower isn’t “LIVING life”, by the way. It’s a pathetic cry for attention.

      • Zoning Victim

        Huh? Nobody would ever have known they even did this if she hadn’t ended up stuck in a tree. You act like they were faking a suicide to get attention.

        • Quoth the Raven

          “Nobody would ever have known they even did this…”

          You’re right, of course. These folks never would have posted a video of this jump on YouTube, or Facebook, or Twitter…..

    • ARLahora

      Are you that dumb to not get that 98% of comments here and over at DCist.com are meant to be stupid and to blow off steam?

      i bet you go over to fox / cnn/ msnbc/hufpo and try to change the world 1 comment at a time..

      go jump off something, start LIVING…

    • drax


      Or maybe, just maybe, we’re all aware that there’s more to arguing over N. vs. S. Arlington, and are parodying previous posters who have done so.

    • RoachVA141

      Gen Y,

      I’m a bit confused. Are we sitting on our computers or on the couch?

  • CAS

    This is my aunt ur talking about and she made a not so smart decision and shes paying her price but havent we all done something stupid learn to live a little

    • parent

      So true. I was not wanting to do the laundry so I read all the comments on this article. I regret the decision.


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