Owen J. Quinn

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Owen J. Quinn (born 1941 in the Bronx, New York) is an American man who was the first person to successfully parachute off one of the World Trade Center towers, on July 22, 1975. [1]

The Bronx Borough in New York City and county in New York, United States

The Bronx is the northernmost of the five boroughs of New York City, in the U.S. state of New York. It is south of Westchester County; northeast and east of Manhattan, across the Harlem River; and north of Queens, across the East River. Since 1914, the borough has had the same boundaries as Bronx County, the third-most densely populated county in the United States.

New York (state) State of the United States of America

New York is a state in the Northeastern United States. New York was one of the original thirteen colonies that formed the United States. With an estimated 19.54 million residents in 2018, it is the fourth most populous state. In order to distinguish the state from the city with the same name, it is sometimes referred to as New York State.

Parachuting action sport of exiting an aircraft and returning to Earth using a parachute

Parachuting is a method of transiting from a high point to Earth with the aid of gravity, involving the control of speed during the descent with the use of a parachute or parachutes. It may involve more or less free-falling which is a period when the parachute has not yet been deployed and the body gradually accelerates to terminal velocity.

Contents

Early life

In an interview with C. J. Sullivan of the New York Press , Quinn claims that his first memories were of "how it all got bad very quick". [2] His mother grew sick and was hospitalized for a long stretch of time and finances for the family were low, so his father had to place him and his sister in an orphanage for six years. Later on, when his mother got well, the family moved to Highbridge together. Even though things were looking up, they were still tough. Quinn got into trouble running the streets of Highbridge and hated school, so he began working at 15.

<i>New York Press</i> alternative weekly in New York City, published from 1988 to 2011

New York Press was a free alternative weekly in New York City, which was published from 1988 to 2011.

Highbridge, Bronx Neighborhood of the Bronx in New York City

Highbridge is a residential neighborhood geographically located in the central-west section of the Bronx, New York City. Its boundaries, starting from the north and moving clockwise are the Cross-Bronx Expressway to the north, Grand Concourse to the east, East 161st Street to the south, and the Harlem River to the west. Ogden Avenue is the primary thoroughfare through Highbridge.

Owen J. Quinn jumping from the North Tower of the World Trade Center. Quinnjump0913.jpg
Owen J. Quinn jumping from the North Tower of the World Trade Center.

After traveling the world (twice), getting married in 1962, and a tour of duty with the Merchant Navy in Vietnam in 1966, Quinn decided to settle down after his first child was born, and went into construction. He soon got a job with the dock builders' union, working at the World Trade Center (WTC). He claims to have been inspired after seeing a model of the WTC, not paying much attention to the grandness of such an architectural achievement, but the great BASE jumping opportunity that it offered. By that time, Quinn had extensive experience with parachuting; he stated in an interview that "When I did it I loved it. I thought, when I die this is what I want to be doing." [2]

Vietnam Country in Southeast Asia

Vietnam, officially the Socialist Republic of Vietnam, is the easternmost country on the Indochina Peninsula. With an estimated 94.6 million inhabitants as of 2016, it is the 15th most populous country in the world. Vietnam shares its land borders with China to the north, and Laos and Cambodia to the west. It shares its maritime borders with Thailand through the Gulf of Thailand, and the Philippines, Indonesia and Malaysia through the South China Sea. Its capital city is Hanoi, while its most populous city is Ho Chi Minh City.

BASE jumping activity where participants jump from fixed objects and use a parachute to break their fall

BASE jumping, also sometimes written as B.A.S.E. jumping, is parachuting or wingsuit flying from a fixed structure or cliff. "BASE" is an acronym that stands for four categories of fixed objects from which one can jump: building, antenna, span, and earth (cliff). Due to the lower altitudes of the jumps, BASE jumping is significantly more dangerous than skydiving from a plane. In the U.S., BASE jumping is currently regarded by many as a fringe extreme sport or stunt.

The jump

On July 22, 1975, with his friend Mike Sergio, Quinn disguised himself as a construction worker and hid his parachute in a duffel bag (covered with tools) and made his way up the North Tower of the World Trade Center. They were met by a security guard, and while Sergio distracted him, Quinn continued toward the roof and got into his parachute. Quinn says he "stepped back about 15 feet and ran fast right to the end". Sergio shot a picture and called it "The Point of No Return". Quinn wore a blue football jersey with the biblical verse, Matthew 19:26: "But Jesus beheld them and said unto them, with men this is impossible, but with God all things are possible".

Michael Sergio is an actor, most famous for parachuting into Shea Stadium during Game 6 of the 1986 World Series, wearing a sign proclaiming "Let's Go Mets". Immediately arrested, Sergio spent a short time in jail because he would not reveal the name of the pilot who flew him over Queens that evening. Senator Al D'Amato later intervened on his behalf, and Sergio was released.

When he landed, he was arrested by Port Authority Police and taken for psychiatric exams at two different hospitals, Elmhurst Hospital and St. Vincent's. While he was in the hospital, he told reporters that he jumped to draw attention the plight of the poor. “If people decided not to eat once a month and to send the money to the needy poor, then it would help the situation,” he said. [3] When it was concluded that he was in fact sane, he was booked and charged with trespassing, disorderly conduct, and reckless endangerment. [3] Within the course of a year, Quinn made 19 appearances in court, but the case was eventually dropped.

Port Authority of New York and New Jersey Police Department law enforcement agency in New York and New Jersey

The Port Authority of New York and New Jersey Police Department, or Port Authority Police Department (PAPD), is a law enforcement agency in New York and New Jersey, the duties of which are to protect and to enforce state and city laws at all the facilities, owned or operated by the Port Authority of New York and New Jersey (PANYNJ), the bi-state agency running airports, seaports, and many bridges and tunnels within the Port of New York and New Jersey. Additionally, the PAPD is responsible for other PANYNJ properties including three bus terminals, the World Trade Center in lower Manhattan, and the PATH train system. The PAPD is the largest transit-related police force in the United States.

Saint Vincents Catholic Medical Center Hospital in New York, United States

Saint Vincent Catholic Medical Centers was a healthcare system, anchored by its flagship hospital, St. Vincent's Hospital Manhattan, locally referred to as "St. Vincent's". St. Vincent's was founded in 1849 and was a major teaching hospital in the Greenwich Village neighborhood of Manhattan, New York City. It closed on April 30, 2010, under circumstances that triggered an investigation by the District Attorney of Manhattan. Demolition began at the end of 2012 and was completed in early 2013. Other hospital buildings are being converted into luxury condos and a new luxury building, Greenwich Lane, will replace the St. Vincent's building.

Disorderly conduct is a crime in most jurisdictions in the United States, China, and Taiwan. Typically, "disorderly conduct" makes it a crime to be drunk in public, to "disturb the peace", or to loiter in certain areas. Many types of unruly conduct may fit the definition of disorderly conduct, as such statutes are often used as "catch-all" crimes. Police may use a disorderly conduct charge to keep the peace when people are behaving in a disruptive manner to themselves or others, but otherwise present no danger.

In 1978, Quinn appeared on the game show To Tell The Truth . [4]

Game show Type of television or radio program where contestants compete for prizes

A game show is a type of radio, television, or stage show in which contestants, individually or as teams, play a game which involves answering questions or solving puzzles, usually for money or prizes. Alternatively, a gameshow can be a demonstrative program about a game [while usually retaining the spirit of an awards ceremony]. In the former, contestants may be invited from a pool of public applicants. Game shows often reward players with prizes such as cash, trips and goods and services provided by the show's sponsor prize suppliers.

See also

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References

  1. Geoff Craighead (July 15, 2009). "Daredevils, Protestors and Suicides". High-Rise Security and Fire Life Safety. Butterworth-Heinemann. p. 116. ISBN   9780080877853 . Retrieved February 4, 2014. Quoting from: Gillespie, Angus K. "Twin Towers: the Life of New York City's World Trade Center." Rutgers University Press, 1999
  2. 1 2 Sullivan, C.J. (28 May 2002). "Twin Tower Fall". New York Press. Retrieved August 8, 2019.
  3. 1 2 Dembart, Lee (July 23, 1975). "Queens Skydiver Leaps Safely From Roof of the Trade Center". The New York Times. Retrieved August 8, 2019.
  4. "YouTube full episode of To Tell The Truth, featuring Owen Quinn". Youtube.com. 2010-09-15. Retrieved 2014-02-04.