Downtown News Reporter Fails to Conquer His Fear of Heights

At the beginning of October, members of the LA media were invited to preview the reward that would be claimed on October 7 by 71 people who had met a certain Boy Scouts fundraising threshold. Each good citizen was going to be allowed to rappel down the side of downtown LA’s 32-story Westin Bonaventure Hotel.

Despite suffering from a fear of heights, Downtown News reporter Richard Guzmán (pictured) decided to give it a go. Per the headline of his resulting October 21 account, things did not go well. All hail “The Not-so-Amazing Spider-Wuss:”

Everything was great for about four or five floors. Then, I made the mistake of looking around, and when I saw how high I was, I lost it. My arms literally went numb and my legs felt like loose spaghetti. I couldn’t plant them on the side of the building. I couldn’t make my hand squeeze the lever to lower myself.

Once I let out the first, “Oh God,” it was over. I was in full panic. I think I spun around once. I know I did the bicycle run in mid air… “Lower me! Lower me down please!” I started yelling at the top of my lungs. “Please hurry! Please, please lower me down!”

Maybe Guzman should just steer clear of anything Boy Scouts-related. In the piece, he also explains how he was trying to make amends for a bit of childhood roughhousing that got him thrown out of his troop.

[Photo: Gary Leonard]