‘Parkour’ problem reaches new heights in Franklin, according to police

Monitor staff
Published: 7/27/2018 10:56:20 PM

Leaping between rooftops is the latest trend in New Hampshire’s smallest city.

Police say a group of young adults have been using the roofs of Franklin businesses to practice “parkour” – a sport that involves running, climbing and jumping through an urban area using the landscape as an obstacle course.

“Apparently they’ve been going up there for a while and jumping from rooftop to rooftop,” Franklin police Chief David Goldstein said.

A resident of Central Street called police Thursday night at around 8 p.m. to say that a group of individuals in their 20’s were climbing down his fire escape, Goldstein said. He said that they had been doing so for the last several nights after scaling area buildings.

One place the jumpers were seen was the gap between Brother’s Donuts and Kenrick building, according to the police log. Goldstein said the buildings were likely three or four stories high.

“A big concern is someone getting seriously hurt,” Goldstein said. “One misstep and it’s a long way down.”

Parkour is a discipline that was originally founded from military obstacle course training. It has become a pop culture trend in recent years, referenced in an episode of the American version of The Office sitcom

But law enforcement officials say the sport can also be dangerous and illegal.

In February 2017, a man was stuck in a chimney for two hours after practicing parkour across Denver buildings.

Goldstein said police will be on the lookout for the parkour artists, and will be monitoring Central Street rooftops on a nightly basis. 

“We are waiting to hear from the public about when this happens,” Goldstein said. “We are going to be sensitized to this and we  will see if it’s continuing.”

(Leah Willingham can be reached at 369-3322, lwillingham@cmonitor.com or on Twitter @LeahMWillingham.)

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