A 23-year-old woman who was charged with mischief for scaling a construction crane in downtown Toronto and brought down to safety in a daring high-stakes rescue operation Wednesday is described by a friend as an adventure seeker.
“She’s always been an adventure seeking girl and always there for the thrill,” Sara Burton told reporters outside Toronto’s Old City Hall courthouse on Thursday where the accused was released on $500 bail.
Under the terms of her release, Marisa Lazo, who is a dual U.S.-Canadian citizen, must surrender her American passport and is also not allowed to enter a rooftop or any construction sites. She is scheduled to reappear in court on May 17.
Lazo, whose Instagram account includes pictures of her on rooftop ledges and balancing on a railway bridge, was arrested and charged with six counts of public mischief after she was rescued from a construction crane early Wednesday morning.
Burton said she is really close to Lazo and doesn’t believe mental illness played a part in the stunt.
“People are speculating she has mental health issues. As far as I’ve known her and as close as I’ve known her, I don’t believe that,” Burton said.
“Honestly, when I saw it I knew that maybe it was not the best decision and obviously maybe some logic wasn’t playing into place. But the fact that she did it was not a shock to me or that she had the ability to do it.”
The dramatic scene unfolded Wednesday after a woman was spotted standing and sitting on the crane’s hook block approximately 12 storeys up around 4 a.m. near Wellesley Street and Church Street.
A firefighter specializing in high-climb rescues was sent in to ascent the crane boom and rappel down to the woman.
The rescuer, identified as acting Capt. Rob Wonfor, was able to reach her around 8 a.m.
Fire officials said the decision was made not to move the crane and to have both the firefighter and the woman rappel down together.
Lazo was placed in handcuffs by police moments after touching the ground.
WATCH: Toronto firefighters perform risky rescue to save woman stuck on crane
She was subsequently charged with six counts of public mischief interfering with property.
Authorities said they are unsure how Lazo managed to climb the crane and of the motive behind the act.
The surrounding streets where the construction crane was located had to be shut down for several hours to complete the rescue operation.
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