Tightrope walker banned from NYC skyscraper stunt

Nik Wallenda’s hope of tightrope walking between New York’s most famous skyscrapers is not going to happen, the city’s top police officer has said.

NYPD Commissioner Raymond Kelly was asked yesterday about the possibility of Mr Wallenda, a member of the famous Flying Wallendas circus family, walking a tightrope between the Chrysler and Empire State buildings.

The daredevil completed a walk over a gorge near the Grand Canyon on Sunday, walked over Niagara Falls a year ago, and was eyeing New York City for his next death-defying attempt.

“I would say no,” Mr Kelly said. “I think it’s dangerous. He walked across the Grand Canyon, and obviously there’s water at the bottom of the Grand Canyon. Here, there’s thousands of New Yorkers who certainly could be put at risk. So I don’t think it would be wise in this city.”

Mr Wallenda walked a quarter of a mile on Sunday without a safety net or harness, 1,500 feet above the Little Colorado River Gorge. The 22-minute walk on a 2-inch cable was watched by people all over the world on television and computer.

The Discovery Channel said the stunt drew nearly 13 million viewers to the live broadcast, and it prompted 1.3 million tweets, making it one of the top trending topics.

Mr Wallenda, 34, is a seventh-generation high-wire artist from a family with decades of experience with high-profile, high-risk stunts. He grew up performing with his family and dreamed of crossing the Grand Canyon since he was a teenager. Sunday’s stunt took place a year after he traversed Niagara Falls earning a seventh Guinness world record.

His great-grandfather, Karl Wallenda, fell during a performance in Puerto Rico and died at the age of 73. Several other family members, including a cousin and an uncle, have been killed while performing wire-walking stunts.

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