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FIRST ON WITN: 4 Men Arrested For Trying To Base Jump Off WCTI Tower

By: April Davis/ Carly Swain
By: April Davis/ Carly Swain

Four daredevils were busted Wednesday night trying to jump off a 2,000 foot TV tower in Jones County.

Around 10:00 p.m. Wednesday night, Jones County Sheriff Danny Heath says deputies caught four men attempting to base jump off the WCTI television tower in Trenton.

The four men have all been charged with trespassing. The are Jeffrey Plisko of Newport, Zachary Bunzey of Raleigh, Christopher Latham from Morehead City and Garrett Gobin from Cherry Point.

Bunzey was a part-time EMT with Washington County EMS, but the county says he was terminated in February 2011. Gobin is a Marine sergeant at Cherry Point. The Marine Corps says he is a crew chief with a helicopter squadron at the Air Station.

Detectives say they got a call about a suspicious vehicle and caught the four near the back of their truck putting gear on. They say more charges may be pending if the investigation finds the men violated FCC regulations.

WCTI general manager Lyle Schulze tells WITN there was no damage to their facility because the men never made it onto the property, which is surrounded by a fence, topped with barbed wire.

"We are exploring additional security measures including adding more barbed wire on top of the fence as a deterrent," said Schulze. "Obviously there is a full power transmitter for both FOX and ABC on the tower itself. That kind of power is life threatening."

Sheriff Heath says one of the men told him he had jumped off the WCTI tower "many times" over the past several years.

Base jumping is an extreme sport- which involves using a parachute or specially made suit to control a jump from high locations. Base is actually an acronym for the four categories which jumps are made. Those are building, antennae, span and earth.

The tower is on Highway 41, just north of Trenton.


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