YouTuber arrested for helicopter and Lamborghini fireworks stunt

By AFP   June 6, 2024 | 11:35 pm PT
YouTuber arrested for helicopter and Lamborghini fireworks stunt
A scene of a helicopter shooting fireworks at a Lamborghini car in the Mojave Desert, California from the video of YouTuber Alex Choi in July 2023. Photo by California Court
A YouTuber who allegedly directed a helicopter to shoot fireworks at a speeding Lamborghini for a "crazy stupid" video has been arrested in California, U.S. prosecutors said Thursday.

Suk Min Choi, better known as Alex Choi, boasts nearly one million subscribers to his YouTube channel, which promises its viewers "the greatest car shenanigans!"

But the 24-year-old's fireworks stunt, shot in a dry California lakebed last summer, resulted in Choi being charged with "causing the placement of an explosive or incendiary device on an aircraft."

If convicted, Choi could face up to 10 years in federal prison.

In the video titled "Destroying a Lamborghini with Fireworks," Choi allegedly presses a "fire missiles" button while two women are in a helicopter, shooting fireworks at a speeding Lamborghini sportscar.

Behind-the-scenes footage includes Choi allegedly making various references to himself coordinating the shoot, according to the affidavit.

He also thanks a camera company for "being a part of my crazy stupid ideas."

The 11-minute video appears to have been removed from Choi's YouTube page.

The helicopter was flying near the ground and without filming permits, a Department of Justice press release said.

Choi is believed to have purchased the fireworks in Nevada because they were illegal in California.

He was scheduled to make his initial appearance at a Los Angeles court Thursday, with his arraignment to follow in the coming weeks.

Last year, another YouTuber who deliberately crashed his plane to boost the number of viewers on his channel and then lied about it to investigators was jailed for six months after reaching a plea deal.

Dramatic footage shot in California in 2021, and viewed millions of times on YouTube, showed Trevor Jacob ejecting from a single-engine plane and parachuting to safety.

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