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Skyscraper Chutists Enter Pleas

Three people who allegedly parachuted from a Universal City skyscraper pleaded not guilty Wednesday to misdemeanor trespassing charges, authorities said.

John Marx Eagle, 26; Michael Taylor Muscat, 43, and Susan Hunt Runyon, 31, leaped from the Texaco building May 31, said Mike Qualls, a spokesman for the city attorney’s office.

The three climbed an interior ladder to the roof of the 35-story structure about 4 p.m., Qualls said, then waited until 10 p.m. when they took the plunge.

Qualls said people who get their thrills parachuting from city buildings pose a risk to “themselves, as well as people on the ground.”

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The alleged chutists were freed on their own recognizance after they entered pleas in Van Nuys Municipal Court, but they will have to return for a September pretrial hearing. If convicted, they could face up to six months in jail and fines of $1,000 apiece, Qualls said.


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