INDEX — A Lynnwood man was rescued off a mountain, arrested, booked into jail and released all within a few hours Tuesday.
Eldon Burrier, 45, was BASE jumping off Mount Baring on Monday night when his parachute lines caught on a rocky outcropping. BASE jumping involves parachuting off buildings, antennae, spans (bridges) and earth.
Alone and uninjured except for scratches and bruises, Burrier called 911 around 9 p.m. He dangled there overnight, wrapping himself in his parachute to stay warm.
Around 8:30 a.m. Tuesday, a mountain rescue team was lowered to Burrier and hooked him into a rope system. He was lifted by helicopter to the top of the cliff.
Plans were to airlift him to a hospital, but he refused medical treatment, Snohomish County Sheriff’s Lt. John Flood said Tuesday. The man got off the helicopter after it landed in Granite Falls. It was later discovered that he had a warrant out of Skagit County for reckless endangerment for another BASE jumping incident in May at Deception Pass Bridge, which connects Island and Skagit counties.
He was arrested in Granite Falls around noon Tuesday and booked into Skagit County Jail, said Will Reichardt, chief criminal deputy with the Skagit County Sheriff’s Office.
On May 1, Burrier jumped off the Deception Pass Bridge, deployed his parachute and landed at a skate park in Skagit County, according to a Washington State Parks and Recreation Commission report.
Island County officials were concerned that Burrier’s jump endangered people on the water, many of whom were there for the opening day of halibut fishing season. Court records dated July 13 show that Burrier failed to appear for a hearing and failed to comply with a court order. He was out on $500 bail.
Skagit County Jail was overcrowded Tuesday, so Burrier was released about a half hour after his arrest, Reichardt said.
“He was probably in our jail all of about 10 minutes,” he said.
In 2004, Burrier told The New York Times1531D590 that he began parachuting in the 1980s while in the Army. He told The Times he was a landscaper from Seattle.
Officials reported Burrier told them Monday’s jump was his way of paying respects to a friend who died during a BASE jump last month.
Aude-Marianne Bertucchi, a 32-year-old Bothell woman, died July 25 after her parachute failed to open properly during a jump off Mount Baring.
Mount Baring stands 6,125 feet high and is popular with BASE jumpers. It is northeast of the Skykomish River and U.S. 2 on the western edge of the Cascade Range, about 6 miles east of Mount Index.
Rikki King: 425-339-3449; firstname.lastname@example.org.