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Dangling BASE jumper: 'I committed an error'

7:56 PM, Sep 18, 2012   |    comments
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BASE jumper Raymond Arrieta

AUBURN, CA - An experienced skydiver who spent five hours dangling from a pine tree after jumping from the Foresthill Bridge admits he made a mistake.

"I committed an error," said Raymond Arrieta, 26.  "I jumped at night when I really couldn't see anything.  I hit a tree, that's what it was."

Arrieta spoke to News10 Tuesday night as he left the Placer County Jail after posting $2,000 bail on two misdemeanor charges relating to his BASE jump.

Although he wasn't seriously injured, Arrieta said he was in pain and was tired after a sleepless night and long day in jail.

Arrieta dove from the 730-foot-high Foresthill Bridge Monday night and his parachute became snagged in the tree about 150 feet above the canyon floor.

A friend who was waiting below called 911 at 8:55 pm, which led to a five-hour Cal Fire rescue operation.

A bulldozer was used to improve road access, and Arrieta was finally pulled from the tree with a PG&E bucket truck shortly after 2 a.m.

Arrieta was taken to a local hospital for observation and then booked into jail.

Bill Dause, owner of the Parachute Center in Lodi, said Arrieta was a frequent visitor and Dause considered him an experienced skydiver.

The Foresthill Bridge is the highest in California and a frequent target of BASE jumpers, who get their thrills leaping from fixed objects.

"It won't be happening again," Arrieta said.

When asked if he meant he was done with BASE jumping altogether, Arrieta offered a clarification.

"I'm done jumping off a bridge at night," he replied.

By George Warren, GWarren@news10.net

News10/KXTV

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