The debate rages on: Does Jeb Corliss, the man who tried to leap from the Empire State Building on Thursday, look better with a little hair on his head? In addition to his all black gear and awe inspiring summersaults off high points all over the globe, the Corliss style includes a shiny pate. But after shedding the now famous $15,000 fat man suit and leaping over the railing on the observation deck, Corliss was caught—on camera—with the thick gray remains of the disguise still about his face. I, for one, feel he should consider a less disposable form of facial hair for the long term.
Other, similarly crucial, questions about the adventure abound. Why, you might ask, did Corliss continue to kick at security guard Kevin Downes, who eventually checked into Bellevue Hospital "with head and ankle injuries," according to the Daily News, but leave the police officers, who later arrived with bolt cutters, unscathed. The answer has something to do with Corliss's previous relations to police officers and security guards. One year ago (very nearly to the day) Corliss explained to me part of the reason he usually gets off with a mere wrist slap: "Cops are human beings, as long as they realize you’re not damaging things. They know 'this guy is a professional athlete.' If you’re cool, then, ordinairly they’re super cool. The people that seem to be aggressive and not very nice are park rangers. They're like the devil—actively, aggressively, hostile. Literally satanic. And security guards: We make them look bad, we penetrate their security like it doesn’t exist."
As Corliss pointed out to me, jumping from conveniently high places is not actually illegal and the "reckless endangerment" and trespassing charges usually get dropped. Downes's ankles, though, may make the waters Corliss is now swimming in slightly hotter. Assault charges can land people behind bars. But Corliss is sure to claim self defense, and rightly so: Downes's initial gropings could have sent Colriss over the edge in an unstable position. It would have been safer for Corliss, and the human traffic below, if they'd allowed him to jump. Never mind the glory of letting him achieve his historic first jump in facial hair.