Tuesday, January 31, 2023
HomeViralNYC’s dapper rooftop-hopping daredevil downplays fearless video: ‘I was just doing my...

NYC’s dapper rooftop-hopping daredevil downplays fearless video: ‘I was just doing my job’

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The dapper daredevil seen jumping from dormer to dormer on the roof of a historic Manhattan high-rise said the made-for-the-movies stunt was all in a day’s work.

Joe Smizaski, the director of operations for the Financial District building at 90 West St., told The Post he was astonished the video of him in a suit and tie leaping between window dormers near the top of the 304-foot building Tuesday went viral.

“I was shocked when I saw the video,” the New Jersey contractor said. “I’ve been doing this for 42 years and I’m just surprised people are just making a big deal about it.”

To him, the death-defying feat was just a routine task — and a perfectly safe one at that.

“I was just doing my job at the end of the day and get to go home safe to my kids because I know what I’m doing,” Smizaski, a father of three, said.

Joe Smizaski
Joe Smizaski said he was just doing his job as he leapt from dormer to dormer hundreds of feet from the ground.

Smizaski, 60, climbed onto the roof through a window on the 23rd floor to check out a resident’s leaky skylight as the city got pounded with rain for the fourth day in a row.

He hopped over the gaps between the landmark building’s dormers with no protective line or equipment.

The residential building is nearly the same height as the Statue of Liberty, but Smizaski said the daring jumps were perfectly safe — adding that a buildings department inspector went up there with him earlier in the day.

“[The building inspector] didn’t have any safety, I didn’t have any safety… you can’t have anything on the roof,” Smizaski said. “It was safe for me, it was safe for him. It wasn’t as dangerous as people think.”

Man in suit leaps from one rooftop awning to another.
Smizaski agreed the video looked like a stunt from a movie scene.
A man in a suite climbs into a window from on top of a building dormer.
Smizaski used no safety equipment while he moved around the roof to check a resident’s leaky skylight.

The contractor, however, acknowledged that the footage of him rushing across the rooftop in a suit looked like a scene straight out of a 007 movie.

“It just looked [dangerous] from this video because it looked like a stunt video,” he said.

Smizaski said he wears a suit and tie so he looks respectable when meeting clientele in their “fancy, rich” apartments. He said he was rushing back across the dormers because he felt raindrops while on the rooftop and wanted to avoid getting caught in a potential downpour.

“I knew what I was doing; I went at a quick pace and it was fine,” he said. “I don’t do anything unsafe and I don’t let my men do anything unsafe.”

Joe Smizaski in a cherry picker lift.
Smizaski was shocked the video went viral, claiming that his rooftop inspection was perfectly safe.

Smizaski is still flabbergasted that the video of his rooftop stroll is going viral.

“Someone said they saw it in China and the UK,” he said. “It’s weird, man. It wasn’t that dangerous.”

He did, however, get a kick out of some of the comments.

“I thought the funniest thing I read was that I was cheating on my wife and my wife caught me with my mistress and I was running out the window,” he said, adding that his wife has been dead since 2010 when she was killed in a house fire.

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