BASE jumper lands photographer in trouble
July 22, 2009
A 2007 BASE jump at Grand Canyon National Park landed a South Lake Tahoe photographer in federal court in Arizona last week.
On July 15, Corey Rich, 33, pleaded guilty to violating the conditions of a commercial filming permit by failing to report an illegal BASE jump by 30-year-old Marin County resident Christopher Copeland McNamara on Nov. 5, 2007, according to a statement from the U.S. Attorney’s Office.
Rich did not film the jump, but violated terms of the permit he was issued to shoot a documentary about rock climbing and river rafting at the park by not reporting the jump to authorities, according to the statement.
Despite the guilty plea, if Rich pays $1,000 for resource protection at the Grand Canyon and uses his work to promote Leave No Trace education and denounce illegal BASE jumping over the next year, the charge will be dropped, according to the statement.
An employee at Rich’s South Lake Tahoe business said Rich could not be reached for comment, and it was unclear how McNamara and Rich might be connected.
Also on July 15, McNamara pleaded guilty to the illegal BASE jump and was sentenced to one year of probation and a $5,000 fine to pay for resource protection at the Grand Canyon.
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McNamara’s terms of probation also include a ban from all national park lands, except Yosemite National Park, where McNamara is involved in volunteer work, according to the statement.
BASE jumping involves using a parachute to jump from sheer cliffs or man-made objects, often bridges or buildings.
Grand Canyon National Park Superintendent Steve Martin lauded last week’s decision.
“BASE jumping is inherently dangerous; but that’s only part of why it’s prohibited in the park. BASE jumping here, where the terrain is so intensely rugged and the nearest help can be hours away, increases the inherent risks exponentially; and it puts park rescue personnel and resources at risk,” Martin said in the statement. “Our concern is for the safety and protection of park visitors, park staff and park resources; so, we are grateful that the U.S. Attorney’s Office was willing to so aggressively pursue prosecution of this case.”
– Two men allegedly assaulted a 58-year-old South Lake Tahoe man and his 32-year-old son with a car during a confrontation on Sunday evening, according to South Lake Tahoe police.
About 5:30 p.m. one of the men – described by witnesses as weighing about 230 pounds, about 5 feet 8 inches tall and with black, buzzed hair – approached the father and son at their Third Street home about doing body work on a truck on the property, said Lt. Marty Hale.
When the man allegedly offered to accept drugs in lieu of payment for the body work, the father and son were angered and told the man to leave, Hale said.
The man began yelling at the son and returned to the car – which was driven by a second man described by witnesses as approximately 6 feet tall and wearing a hat and dark sunglasses, Hale said.
The driver of the vehicle then made a U-turn and allegedly drove directly at the pair. The son pushed the father onto the lawn out of the way of the speeding car, but was clipped on the shoulder by the car, Hale said.
Neither the father or son were seriously injured during the incident, Hale said.
The suspects in the case were driving a white, newer model, four-door sedan and remained at large, Hale said.
– El Dorado County Sheriff’s deputies arrested a 31-year-old man over the weekend after he allegedly led authorities on a chase that reached speeds of about 70 mph.
About 5:30 a.m. on Sunday, the man refused to pull over for a California Highway Patrol officer as he drove west on Lake Tahoe Boulevard, said Lt. Les Lovell.
Sheriff’s deputies joined the pursuit near Tahoe Keys Boulevard and followed the man down James Avenue, where he hit the Dumpster behind Kragen Auto Parts and kept going, Lovell said.
Deputies eventually were able to stop the man near the corner of James Avenue and Third Street, Lovell said.
The man was arrested on suspicion of drunken driving, evading arrest, obstructing a police officer, speeding and driving without a license, and was booked into El Dorado County Jail in South Lake Tahoe.