- The Washington Times - Thursday, May 26, 2016

A Russian-born actor who runs a YouTube channel with more than 9 million subscribers was arrested and released Wednesday in Los Angeles after climbing the iconic Hollywood sign and waving a banner that read “I’m Back.”

Vitaly Zdorovetskiy, 24, was charged with trespassing after scaling the 45-foot-tall “D” at the end of Hollywood sign, police said Wednesday. He was arrested for the same stunt last year, CBS LA reported.

Viral videos in which the actor is seen carrying out various pranks landed Mr. Zdorovetskiy a movie deal that led to the release last month of a direct-to-DVD and on-demand movie, “Natural Born Pranksters.” He had most recently started in a series of YouTube clips in which he claimed to have “outgrown the internet,” CBS LA reported, only to announce earlier this week that he would be filming a “huge stunt” Wednesday, a “welcome back” video.

Mr. Zdorovetskiy spent around 40 minutes perched atop the “D” with his “I’m Back” banner Wednesday, ABC7 reported, before he lost grip of the sign and was forced to descend to retrieve it. He briefly scaled the sign again, according to the station, before he climbed down and met with authorities.

“I’m all the way up, nothing can stop me,” he could be heard saying in a video taken from atop the sign and shared later on social media.

The prankster posted bail late Wednesday evening and was released, and explained the stunt during a subsequent interview with ABC7 from outside an LA jail.


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“I did this because adrenaline man, you only live once and you have to explore things,” he said. “I got high on life.”

Previously, the YouTube star was arrested in Boca Raton and charged with threatening to detonate a bomb after he attempted to carry out a prank involving a supposedly explosive briefcase. Another time in Brazil, Mr. Zdorovetskiy dashed across the field during a World Cup match in his underwear, leading to an hour in jail and an $100 fine.

Punishment for trespassing at the Hollywood sign, a misdemeanor, typically carries a fine of up to $1,000, but comes with the possibility of jail time as well.

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