NYPD: No NYC skyscraper stunt for Wallenda
- June 24, 2013 - 5:31 PM
NEW YORK — New York's top police officer says Nik Wallenda's hope of tightrope walking between the city's most famous skyscrapers just isn't going to fly.
NYPD Commissioner Raymond Kelly was asked on Monday about the possibility of Wallenda, a member of the famous "Flying Wallendas" circus family, walking a tightrope between the Chrysler and Empire State buildings.
The daredevil completed a walk over a gorge near the Grand Canyon on Sunday, walked over Niagara Falls a year ago, and was eyeing New York City for his next death-defying attempt.
"I would say no," Kelly said. "I think it's dangerous."
He added that any attempt could be hazardous to those on the ground underneath in case of a fall.
"Here, there's thousands of New Yorkers who certainly could be put at risk. So I don't think it would be wise in this city," Kelly said.
Wallenda walked a quarter mile Sunday without a safety net or harness, 1,500 feet above the Little Colorado River Gorge. The 22-minute walk on a 2-inch cable was watched by people all over the world on television and computer.
He said Sunday night it was too early to say when any New York plan would materialize, but added that he wouldn't do it if the law didn't allow it.
"I'm a man of integrity and a man of my word. If I say I'm going to do something, I'm going to do it, and I'm going to honor everybody that's involved," Wallenda said.
Wallenda, 34, is a seventh-generation high-wire artist from a family with generations of experience with high-profile, high-risk stunts. He grew up performing with his family and dreamed of crossing the Grand Canyon since he was a teenager. Sunday's stunt took place a year after he traversed Niagara Falls earning a seventh Guinness world record.
Wallenda's great-grandfather, Karl Wallenda, fell during a performance in Puerto Rico and died at the age of 73. Several other family members, including a cousin and an uncle, have perished while performing wire walking stunts.
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