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Terrifying Footage of Someone Hanging From a Construction Crane by One Hand

On purpose, apparently.

Plenty of Angelenos do dangerous and stupid stuff at stomach-churning heights. The difference between them and this urban climber is they're Hollywood stunt people earning a paycheck, whereas the dude you see here is apparently risking his life for a grainy Internet video.

But hey, thanks kid, because now we know what L.A.'s lovely night skyline looks like to somebody dangling by one arm from a construction crane. The buildering enthusiast behind this intense exploit, which I'm pretty sure would not be attempted by a brain-damaged chimp, is a mystery to me, as is the date when it happened the UK's James Kingston, who uploaded this footage on Thursday. Check out the oddly shaped metallic building on the left at 1:30 –it's the Frank Gehry-designed Walt Disney Concert Hall, on South Grand Avenue.

Much like that Ukranian death chaser, Kingston's only safety harness is the shield of brassy confidence surrounding him as he tightrope walks on the thinnest of poles. Here's guessing he never encountered g = GM/r2 in school.

Fun fact: Climbing construction cranes, like high-speed car chases, seems engrained in Southern California's culture. A man scurried up a 90-foot crane this month in San Diego for "unclear" reasons; a "disoriented" homeless person scaled one last year in La Quinta and broke his body by falling; a suicidal man made it eight stories up in 2006 in Long Beach; and in 2003 a grade-A crazy got into the control booth of an 18-story crane in L.A. and started swinging its boom around, forcing police to disconnect the machine's power.

According to one officer involved in that last incident, "We believe he has alcohol with him." So what's this nut's excuse?

About the Author

  • John Metcalfe
    John Metcalfe is CityLab’s Bay Area bureau chief, based in Oakland. His coverage focuses on climate change and the science of cities.