Police lay charges in dangerous balloon chair Stampede stunt
WATCH: 26-year-old Daniel Boria is the man behind the bizarre balloon chair stunt, and even though he spent the night in jail he says it was the most fun he’s ever had. Heather Yourex reports.
CALGARY – Police have laid charges in connection to a dangerous stunt in which a man attempted to parachute into the Calgary Stampede from a homemade balloon chair.
Daredevil Daniel Boria was first spotted floating in a green lawn chair attached to over 100 helium balloons in the community of Highwood around 7:30 p.m. on Sunday.
Officials with the Calgary International Airport observed the balloon chair, and estimated its height to be somewhere between 8,000 and 10,000 feet before they lost sight of it.
Boria managed to maneuver the chair south towards the downtown area, where he jumped from his makeshift aircraft, opening a parachute as he plummeted towards the ground below.
The bold balloonist landed in the green space located at Highfield Boulevard S.E. and Ogden Road S.E.
WATCH: Balloon Man Daniel Boria spoke to Global’s Heather Yourex.
Officers say Boria suffered a minor injuries, including a rolled ankle, when he landed. He was treated on scene by EMS and arrested.
Police are calling the bizarre incident a “Stampede stunt.”
Boria, 26, was charged with mischief causing danger to life. He has since been released.
The stunt was an attempt to promote the Boria’s Calgary-based company, and was inspired by a Disney film.
“I saw the movie ‘Up’ and I just knew it was a grand slam home run,” says Boria.
He tells Global News he had hoped to land in the middle of the Chuckwagon races, but that it was too windy to manage.
“I was going [up] about 500 to 1,000 feet a minute,” said Boria, who couldn’t specify just how high he got but says he was using oxygen the last few minutes in the air.
“I’d look up, and I’d see the balloons popping. It was loud. It was louder than a shotgun going off. The whole chair would shake.”
He says the stunt was the most fun he’s ever had.
WATCH: Raw video shows Daniel Boria floating into the sky on a homemade balloon aircraft on Sunday, July 5, 2015.
Boria says he even took GoPro video of the flight, but it was confiscated by officials.
“I’d look down through the clouds and there was a WestJet flight right below me… I’m pretty sure it was WestJet.”
Inspector Kyle Grantin says the incident was unlike anything he’d seen before.
“In my 20 years… it’s the craziest thing.”
Police say they do take this kind of stunting seriously, as it put public safety at risk.
“I think on the onset, everybody laughs… but when you sit down and you actually think about it, and you think about what could happen… I don’t think anybody’s gonna laugh if that lawn chair drops on their child or through the window of their car… just to promote his company.”
The lawn chair was later located near High River.
Transport Canada is investigating and tells Global News they are working closely with the Calgary Police Service.
“As the investigation is ongoing, Transport Canada cannot provide additional information,” said Regional Communications Officer Amber Wonko.
– With files from Heather Yourex