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LA graffiti tower tightrope walker faces LAPD criminal investigation

Graffiti tower tightrope walker faces an LAPD criminal investigation
Graffiti tower tightrope walker faces an LAPD criminal investigation 02:22

The Los Angeles Police Department is launching a criminal investigation after a daredevil posted his viral tightrope walk between the infamous L.A. graffiti towers on YouTube.

Ben Schneider, also known as "Reckless Ben," pulled off the feat 45 stories high, on a nylon rope stretching between two of the downtown L.A. Oceanwide Plaza towers in early May. He walked on the rope, for two minutes, and called it "moral graffiti."

"This is like the biggest canvas the world has ever seen," Schneider said. "I'm not much of a good graffiti artist, but I can do some crazy performance art, so I put up the slackline It's still there."

The first half of the stunt was getting onto the downtown L.A. property with Schneider and his crew sneaking by police to get inside.

The city of Los Angeles and LAPD have stepped up efforts to keep people out of the buildings. The sprawling 1.5 million-square-foot property has sat vacant and half-finished since 2019 – becoming a magnate for social media stunts and graffiti artists.

The city spent $1.1 million securing the abandoned building, primarily for the fencing, and more funding was set aside to clean up the site.

Arrests were made earlier this year, and law enforcement increased patrols as more and more people were showing up to add to the graffiti, and base jumpers were parachuting off the half-built towers.

Schneider put on a duck mask as he finished talking to KCAL News about his stunt. 

"But now I got to walk with a mask around because there is an active investigation on me," Schneider said.

The Oceanwide Plaza tightrope walk has since been removed from the Reckless Ben YouTube page.

Related: Viral Los Angeles building covered in graffiti is going up for sale

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