MENOMONIE, Wis. (WCCO/AP) — A BASE jumper has been arrested and charged for criminal trespass after his parachute got tangled in the guy wires of a cell phone tower in northwestern Wisconsin.
Police say 20-year-old Mason Barth was illegally jumping from a 300-foot Charter Communications tower in Menomonie Thursday when his chute got tangled in the wires leaving him dangling 50 feet above ground. He called police for help.
Using a “cherry picker” truck, authorities were able to cut him down from the supporting cable. The man was treated at Mayo Clinic Health System in Menomonie and released.
On Friday, Barth, who is from Neillsville, Wisconsin, was charged with criminal trespassing on energy provider property, which is a felony.
“I’d just like to say thanks to everybody who was there and helped me,” Barth said. “Without them, you know, I might not be here today.”
According to the complaint, his parachute “deployed incorrectly” and caused him to collide with the cables.
“It ended bad,” he said.
Barth denied ever jumping from a tower like this before. A review of his social media, however, showed that he posted a video of him jumping from a similar tower at an unknown location on Sept. 26, 2019.
“It’s just something I love doing. I’m really passionate about it,” Barth said. “Base jumping is a dangerous sport and I don’t recommend anybody doing it. I’m not going to be doing that for a long time.”
If convicted, Barth could face up to six years in prison and/or a $10,000 fine.
Police say there are many ways to BASE jump legally with the proper precautions. BASE jumping stands for building, antenna, span and earth — the four common places from which jumpers parachute.
(© Copyright 2019 CBS Broadcasting Inc. All Rights Reserved. The Associated Press contributed to this report.)