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Empire State Jumper

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Deadly plunge

Horror at Empire State

By GREG GITTRICH, SONI SANGHA and JOSE MARTINEZ

DAILY NEWS WRITERS

Minutes after filling out a job application, a man took a fatal leap yesterday from the 80th floor of the Empire State Building - as two workers desperately tried to stop him, police said.

The man wriggled free, slamming into a ledge on the 72nd floor of the landmark skyscraper just moments after he filled out an application inside the 80th-floor office of Showtime Pictures.

"He was sitting on the window [ledge]," said one distraught witness. "The window was closed, but he opened it and took the mesh off."

Police said the man, believed to be in his 20s, went looking for work at Showtime, which handles the tourist photography concessions at the landmark skyscraper.

But after identifying himself as Theodore Harkins Wiltbank - a name police had yet to confirm last night - he leaped eight stories to his death from nearly 1,000 feet above Fifth Ave.

"One of the security guards had the guy by the feet, but he was kicking," said Will Kinard, who spoke with a friend from the 80th floor photo company.

The apparent suicide at 11:40 a.m. kept tourists in an extended wait to get up to the building's 86th-floor observation deck.

"We were all very angry," said Stacie Harris, 26, who wanted to celebrate her engagement atop the Empire State Building. "We kind of knew [building officials] weren't telling us exactly what was going on."

Offices on the 80th and 72nd floors remained open as police worked to identify the dead man.

"The ownership and management conveys its deepest sympathies to the young man's family," said Howard Rubenstein, a spokesman for the building. "We are extremely sorry to learn of this tragedy that occurred in one of our tenant's offices."

But some workers in the building weren't surprised that the skyscraper was used to enable a suicide. Since the building opened in 1931, more than 30 people have killed themselves there.

Officials at Showtime Pictures declined to comment.

From New York Daily News

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That's too bad. :(

I always have to wonder what goes through those people's minds. Are they really so depressed that they have to end their lives? I mean I've been very depressed before, but never so bad I felt like I had to end my life.

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He could have been skitsofranic. Is that how you spell that :huh: Anyway he may have thought one of his imaginary friends told him to kill him self. I have a relative that has that. I wont mention his relavance to me because its very embarassing for skitofranics, so I will only say that much. Its like the movie Beautiful Mind.

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Yeah, it could've been schizophrenia, or any other number of psychological disorders. Or maybe was was just depressed and felt that his life was so bad that he just wanted to end it all. I guess we will never know for sure.

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That is very sad. It is one of those circumstances that just amazes me how desparate he was.

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