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Thursday, 23 August, 2001, 20:09 GMT 21:09 UK
Paraglider crashes into Statue of Liberty
A paraglider caught on the torch of the Statue of Liberty
The paraglider was arrested after climbing to safety
A man paragliding above New York Harbour flew too close to the Statue of Liberty and found himself caught in its grasp.

Previous incidents
6 November 2000: Puerto Rican flags are draped from the crown to protest the US Navy's use of a bombing range on the island of Vieques

2 December 1990: A man protesting conviction of an American Indian activist in the slaying of two FBI agents climbs down from the statue's observation deck using a rope

27 August 1988: Five protesters against Cuban leader Fidel Castro handcuff themselves to a handrail in the statue's crown

16 October 1986: An Australian stuntman parachutes off statue, jumping from the torch and landing safely
The man, 41-year-old French stuntman Thierry Devaux, had been circling the 46m (151-foot) high statue in his paraglider.

But his motor-driven parachute became snagged on the torch and he was left dangling for about 45 minutes before managing to haul himself up by the parachute's ropes with the help of rescue workers.

"We got him up inch by inch, we got him to the top and we got him into the torch," said New York police officer Christopher Ballou, who was involved in the rescue.

New York City police, who were present at the scene, said the stuntman had intended to land somewhere on Liberty Island, carrying a sign protesting against the use of land mines.

It was not immediately clear whether he had hoped to land on the statue itself or on the ground.

He told several media outlets that he wanted to bungee jump off the torch.

Stuntman arrested

After the rescue he was handcuffed and taken into custody.

The paraglider dangling from the statue's torch
The paraglider dangling from the statue's torch
Sergeant William Vitolo of the US Park Police said Mr Devaux, who goes by the name Terry Do, faces federal charges of disorderly conduct, among others.

If convicted, he faces a prison sentence of up to six months.

"Terry Do tried to perform this act and not only did he put himself in danger, the lives of the cops in danger, he also put the lives of innocent people near the statue in danger as well," New York Police Commissioner Bernard Kerik said at a news conference.

The Statue of Liberty is a symbol of political freedom and democracy famous throughout the world.

It was given as a gift to the United States by France in 1886, and was designated a national monument in 1924.

It is so far unclear whether any damage had been done to it.

 WATCH/LISTEN
 ON THIS STORY
The BBC's Sean Brickell reports
"An unorthodox way of seeing the statue"
The BBC's Jane Standley
"The man set off..with the intention of bungee jumping off the statue"
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