A BASE jumper was arrested for criminal trespassing after a failed jump on Thursday in Menomonie.
Mason Barth, 20, attempted to jump from a 300-foot Charter Communications tower with a parachute near 1020 Meadow Hill Drive in Menomonie when his parachute became entangled in guy wires attached to the tower he jumped from, the Menomonie Police Department said in a news release.
BASE jumping stands for building, antenna, span and earth − the four common jumping points that jumpers use to propel themselves into the air. The pastime involves parachuting down after jumping from a high point.
“You always want to make sure you’re not trespassing on private property. You don’t know the situation and in addition to the safety risks, it’s a criminal offense,” said Brenna Jasper, crime prevention specialist with the Menomonie Police Department.
“This particular gentleman is extremely lucky that he wasn’t injured and that we were able to get him down safely and have such a successful resolution.”
At about 8:37 a.m. the police department, Menomonie Fire Department and Menomonie Street Department responded to a call from Barth after he had gotten caught about 50 feet above the ground.
Jasper said the police department hasn’t had many reports of these types of incidents before. Seeking thrills isn’t new, Jasper said, and ultimately keeping the public safe is the police department’s goal.
“There are restrictions, there are rules for reason because we want to keep people safe and that’s the most important thing at the end of the day,” Jasper said.
Barth was rescued at 9:34 a.m., authorities said, and he was treated at Mayo Clinic Health System-Red Cedar in Menomonie before being released.
“There’s all kinds of ways to do things like BASE jump, those types of thrill-seeking activities safely and legally,” Jasper said, “so it’s just important to take the proper precautions when you’re wanting to do those things.”