Charges Dropped Against Would-Be Empire State Building Parachuter

A judge on Wednesday threw out the case against a California man who was arrested last year while trying to parachute from the Empire State Building's 86th-floor observation deck.

State Supreme Court Justice Michael Ambrecht dismissed the indictment against Jebb Corliss, saying his actions on April 27, 2006, did not rise to the level of first-degree reckless endangerment, the only crime for which Corliss was indicted.

That crime requires that a person act when he is aware, but consciously disregards, that his conduct creates a grave risk of death to another person, Ambrecht explained in an eight-page decision. The prosecution had argued that pedestrians and motorists on the streets below and civilians and security guards on the observation deck were potentially at risk because of Corliss' intended conduct.

"While certainly injury to any of these individuals was a possibility, the evidence failed to establish a grave risk of death to anyone," the judge wrote.