Jackass' star Steve-O charged with staging crane stunt in SeaWorld protest

Comedian Stephen Glover beter known as Stever-O.
Comedian Stephen Glover beter known as Stever-O. photo: LA COMEDY LIVE

LOS ANGELES (REUTERS) - Stephen "Steve-O" Glover, a star of the Jackass movie franchise who climbed a construction crane in Los Angeles this month to protest the SeaWorld marine mammal parks, has been charged with creating a false emergency with the stunt, prosecutors said on Tuesday.

The performer posted video online during the Aug 9 stunt when he hung a small inflatable killer whale from the end of the crane, set off fireworks and lambasted SeaWorld.

He has focused his ire on SeaWorld since the 2013 release of the Blackfish documentary that decried the company's practice of keeping orcas in captivity and making them perform.

SeaWorld has been under fire since the documentary and has seen a decline in the attendance of its marine parks.

Glover was charged on Monday with creating a false emergency, use of unregistered fireworks, storing fireworks without a permit, possession of fireworks without a permit and trespassing, said Frank Mateljan, a spokesman for the Los Angeles City Attorney's Office.

Glover fired off fireworks during the stunt, and a search of his home later turned up more fireworks which he had without a permit, Mateljan said.

The performer faces a sentence of up to a year and a half in jail and a fine of US$1,500, plus restitution for the costs of the city's police and fire departments in responding to the scene, Mateljan said.

At one point, firefighters laid down a large cushion to break Glover's fall should he tumble from the crane about 30 metres above the ground, local television station KNBC reported soon after the stunt. He eventually climbed down on his own.

An attorney for Glover could not immediately be reached for comment on Tuesday.

Last year, Glover was cited with a violation of California's vehicle code for another stunt on a San Diego highway, where he altered a SeaWorld exit sign to read: "SeaWorld Sucks." A spokesman for SeaWorld in San Diego was not immediately available for comment on Tuesday.

The heavily tattooed Glover has appeared on MTV and in the"Jackass" movie franchise, which depicts him and his co-stars performing dangerous and odd stunts.