June 25, 2024

Brighton Journal

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Daredevil walks a rope between the skyscrapers of downtown Los Angeles, high above the skyline

Daredevil walks a rope between the skyscrapers of downtown Los Angeles, high above the skyline

A shocking video clip showed a reckless man walking on a rope between two skyscrapers in downtown Los Angeles.

Oceanwide Plaza, a $1 billion luxury mixed-use retail apartment building, has sat vacant for years and has become known as the Graffiti Towers, attracting artists and those looking to perform death-defying stunts.

YouTuber Ben Schneider was the latest to attempt a stunt on location when he walked across a tight line between buildings, which looms high above the Los Angeles skyline.

Schneider, a performance artist and daredevil, posts videos under the YouTube handle “Reckless Ben” and has amassed more than 350,000 subscribers.

Despite the police perimeter surrounding the buildings, Schneider said he managed to slip past observers on May 12.

He said: “We pretended to be a religious sect, and gathered 20 people to carry signs that said, ‘Jesus Saves,’ and the signs were blocking the police’s view, so we jumped over the fence.”

Inside the building, he and his team members climbed 500 feet up the tower several times to tie together and attach two one-inch nylon straps between the towers.

Carrying a camera attached to a selfie stick, Schneider carefully set up the line and began walking across the rope, his camera capturing the elevated view and moving traffic below.

“I call it moral graffiti,” Schneider said of his stunts. “I am an ethical graffiti artist. I vandalize buildings without causing any damage to the buildings.

Schneider, an experienced slackline walker, spent more than two minutes walking the line while strapped in.

“I was very confident that Ben could pull it off,” said Lydia Wren, a member of the Schneider team who served as an observer during the mission. “I’m just doing this for fun. This isn’t a job. I actually work at a VR startup, so this is like my weekend.”

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Once the police realized there were intruders inside the towers, the authorities began searching the building. Schneider was seen hiding in a bathtub and covering himself with plywood. He remained there for several hours before finally exiting the building and evading arrest.

Despite the name of his YouTube account, Schneider said he is well aware of the dangers of such stunts.

“Everything is dangerous,” he said. “Driving a car is dangerous, but we’re still driving the car. The move I made was dangerous but I think the reward outweighs the risk because I think we’ve inspired a lot of people. I have to push myself out of my comfort zone. We have to do something scary and inspire the world To live their best life.

Oceanwide Plaza is a $1 billion mixed-use luxury retail and apartment project with three unfinished buildings. Construction stopped in January 2019 after the developer I lacked the funds to complete it.

The complex, located in the heart of downtown Los Angeles’ entertainment district, attracted numerous artists who have since covered more than 27 floors of the building’s exterior with graffiti.

The building has been an ongoing problem for police and city leaders due to constant trespassing by those eager to tag the building, perform death-defying stunts, or even BASE jump.

In March 2024, City Council members approved $3.8 million to clean up and secure the site, which has seen several arrests in the weeks since the tagging began.

Footage of Schneider’s stunt can be viewed in the video player above.