CAUGHT ON CAMERA: Man jumps along rooftops of New York high-rise

Published: Oct. 6, 2022 at 11:36 AM EDT
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NEW YORK (WABC) - Some New Yorkers recently got a unique sight of a man, clad in a suit, jumping along roofs on a high-rise.

It turns out the well-dressed acrobat was just doing his job.

“I was like, ‘Yo, you guys got to check this out,’” Erick Ljung said. “You know, it’s just some more weird New York (expletive) going on.”

Ljung naturally took a double take when he saw a man in a suit gracefully leaping across the rooftops, all the way up on a high-rise in lower Manhattan.

At the time, Ljung, an award-winning cinematographer and director, was working on a project across the street in a building Monday.

He went to check the lighting when he caught sight of the man and began to record.

“He was wearing dress shoes, which don’t have great grip and it was raining all morning, so for us, it was like, ‘Yo what is going on here?’” Ljung said.

Phil, who did not provide his last name, lives on the 22nd floor of the luxury building the man was seen jumping on.

“That’s my apartment that he just ran over,” Phil said.

At one point in the video, the man stops, takes a call, and snaps some pictures.

“To me, it didn’t look like he was in distress at any time or anything like that, he looked fairly comfortable out there,” Ljung said.

Otherwise, Ljung said he absolutely would have stopped filming and called for help.

But that didn’t seem to be the case and the man appeared to know exactly what he was doing.

Questions remained about who the man in the video was and what he was doing.

A comment posted on Ljung’s page, led WABC to a woman who said she knew exactly who he was and a short time later the mystery was solved.

“My name is Joe Smizaski and I’m Director of Operations and I go out of roofs like this all the time,” Smizaski said.

He explained that he is in the waterproofing business and was checking things out before meeting an inspector about removing a sidewalk shed on the high-rise.

Smizaski said that he’s traversed rooftops dozens of times, with and without safety gear, and that he was not harnessed at the time of the video.

“If I had on safety gear while jumping like that, the act would have been more dangerous and would have pulled me down,” he said.