British daredevil Kingston detained in Dubai for dangerous stunts

Police questioned, detained and released the popular vlogger in 24 hours

  • Kingston posted a 30-minute video on his YouTube channel on February 19 which shows him sneaking into a constrImage Credit: Instagram
  • Kingston posted a 30-minute video on his YouTube channel on February 19 which shows him sneaking into a constrImage Credit: Instagram
  • Image Credit: Supplied

Dubai: Dubai Police picked up a British daredevil James Kingston for questioning after he performed a dangerous stunt in Dubai as depicted in videos he posted online.

Kingston, 25 -- who is known to police for highwire stunts after a 2014 arrest -- was taken in for questioning by police on Saturday after he climbed to the top of a crane and posted a video on his YouTube channel.

Following his release from custody 24 hours later, Kingston was handed a written warning not to perform such dangerous stunts again.

Brigadier Salim Khaifa Al Rumaithi, director of Criminal Investigation Department (CID), told Gulf News on Sunday that the daredevil was summoned because he violated the law.

“This person breached the law despite our warnings of not making stunt videos and climbing towers. He was detained on Saturday and was accused of endangering his life and others. If something went wrong with his stunt then he might have fallen on someone under the building,” Brigadier Al Rumaithi said.

Kingston posted many videos on his social media network while scaling cranes in many construction sites in Dubai.

The Southampton-based thrill-seeker, told his 533k followers on social media that he was picked up by Dubai police.

He wrote on his Twitter account: “I have been arrested by the CID here in Dubai. Four undercover agents plucked me from my hotel room earlier today with no warning...” 

The international video blogger was taken in for questioning by police after posting his latest video about three weeks ago.

The footage, which has so far received over 574,000 views on YouTube, was accompanied with the caption: “By far one of the craziest things I've ever done haha. For a long time I've been searching for a place where I can either jump or climb between two separate cranes and I finally found it! Now the hunt begins for a jump ;) hit that like button if you enjoyed the video.”

On February 19, Kingston posted a 30-minute video on his YouTube channel, while sneaking into a building under construction in Dubai.

In the footage, he can be seen entering a tower under construction and jumping on a crane. He is heard saying: “I am sure there are security guards but luckily there are a lot of places to hide here. It is like racing behind time as it is nearing sunset.”

Looking at the video, he appears to be hanging at a height of approximately 300 to 400 metres. He can be seen performing the stunt without any safety harness.

His latest arrest is not the first time Kingston has run afoul of the law.

Kingston was arrested by Dubai Police in 2014 after he scaled Dubai’s 413-metre Princess Tower in Dubai.

Many of his climbs are considered illegal and he admitted facing difficult questions from authorities in Dubai when he was caught out attempting to scale Princess Tower, also in the Marina.

Several years ago, he signed a memo promising not to repeat his Princess Tower stunt in Dubai before he was released by Dubai Police in 2014, but he returned to the internet on February 2017 and posted many videos on his social media channels despite his friends’ and followers’ warnings.

During his 2014 stunt, he walked rope-free across the narrow edge of an unnamed tower, near Cayman Tower, before scaling a crane at the building’s summit.

Kingston’s trademark finish of hanging one handed from the top of the crane was then filmed as he dangled in the air, with nothing to stop him plunging to his death.

His back-catalogue of climbs has now reached more than 100,000 clicks and includes The Golden Gate Bridge in San Francisco and the famous Wembley stadium arch in London.

He admitted Burj Khalifa remains on his wish list of potential buildings to scale.

“People see the videos and think it looks dangerous, but what they don’t see is the years of practice that go into my stunts. I trained and trained to be able to do what I do,” he told his social media followers earlier.

Kingston shot to fame in 2013, when a video of him hanging one-handed from a crane in Cambridge went viral on the Internet.

Now his YouTube channel boasts nearly 445,840 subscribers and his Facebook page has accrued almost 281,000 likes from people eager to watch his next death-defying stunts.

His videos reached 37,173,201 views so far.

As a teenager, Kingston took up the sport of parkour -- running, jumping, or climbing quickly through urban environments -- in which buildings, street furniture and other structures are used as a platform for spectacular acrobatic stunts.

Kingston’s latest stunt falls roughly two weeks after Dubai police summoned a Russian model who posed for a video while dangling from a Dubai skyscraper.

She also signed a pledge not to put her life in danger again.

A video of 23-year-old Viktoria Odintcova went viral after she posted it on her Instagram account earlier.

It shows her stepping off a girder at the top of Dubai’s 73-storey Cayan Tower and dangling in the void, held only by a man gripping her hand.

Dubai Police said it was important for residents and visitors to avoid practicing dangerous hobbies without taking necessary precautions or obtaining prior permission from authorities.

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