When Johnny Korthuis posted a video online of a successful base jump off Lethbridge's High Level Bridge, a few unexpected things happened.
Korthuis' video immediately went viral after being posted to YouTube, winning himself the adoration of daredevils around the Internet. However, he was also slapped with a charge of trespassing and a $287 fine for taking the 95 metre plunge.
“This is very stupid and dangerous behaviour first and foremost,” Canadian Pacific spokesman Kevin Hrysak told The Calgary Herald.
“To be out actually promoting this type of behaviour is dangerous in its own right as well. We go to great lengths to deter this type of action. It’s very unsafe. There’s lots of signage in the area about trespassing.”
Korthuis, 25, took the jump last Saturday, with his friend Curtis Huisman behind the camera.
The video shows Korthuis as he walks out on the bridge, stands on the railing edge and jumps into the river valley below, freefalling several seconds before his parachute opens.
Korthuis told the National Post he did not intend to promote unsafe or illegal behaviour and has apologized for his actions.
“Safety is priority one and you want to be able to do the things you love for your whole life rather than getting reckless and doing things for the adrenaline rush,” he said.
“I just want to clear up my motives are not to be reckless or to be bad ass or anything like that, but I just simply had a goal, one that I had been looking forward to achieving for a long time."
Police spokewoman Kristen Harding told the Herald, “We’re concerned the attention and accolades the video continues to receive could lead to copy cats and the last thing we want to have to do is go and knock on someone’s door and tell them that their loved on has been seriously injured or killed because of a stunt like this.”
Harding said in the past people have been fined for using the bridge as a walkway.
Parents in Lethbridge last year were calling for more safety measures to keep people off the bridge after two young men committed suicide, reports CBC Calgary.