You might have assumed that the man who got stuck in a downtown Denver chimney yesterday was attempting a robbery or had severely mistimed Christmas.
In fact, Dustin Hinkle told investigators that he was practicing rooftop parkour when he dropped from a balcony into the open chimney, according to a police spokeswoman.
Parkour is the art of running a-hippity-hoppity from place to place, complete with lots of tumbles, backflips and leaps of faith. Hinkle fell about 30 feet down the chimney, according to fire department spokeswoman Melissa Taylor.
“He took a fall,” Taylor said.
Denver Fire Department reported the incident happened at 1742 Champa Street, a residential loft building. Denver Fire first reported the incident at about 2:40 p.m. on Feb. 15; the rescue took about two hours.
The narrow chimney runs through residences in the building but is not connected to a fireplace. Taylor said it likely was an exhaust for an incinerator in the building’s earlier life.
Rescuers lowered a harness to Hinkle, then removed bricks from the chimney and turned the chimney-victim sideways to get him out.
“He wasn’t happy,” said Taylor, who witnessed the rescue.
No one was living in the unit that firefighters used to get Hinkle out.
Hinkle, 26, has been charged with trespassing. He was carrying an Arizona identification card.
“Hinkle stated that he had been let into the building by his friend ‘Jayce’ and went up to the 4th floor roof area to play ‘parkour,'” a police officer reported in an affidavit. “… Hinkle admitted that he had no legitimate business in the building …”
Two other people — Mary McHugh, 20, and Jayce Anderson, 23 — also have been charged with trespassing and interference with a police officer, according to Denver police.
The officer estimated thousands of dollars of damage had been done.