Jumping in an elevator could lead to a misdemeanor

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COLUMBIA - New signs in a Columbia parking garage make it clear jumping in an elevator is illegal.

Jumping is now included in Columbia's Tampering ordinance, and is a class A misdemeanor.

Parking Supervisor Tanner Morrell said the signs were added after groups of elevator riders jumped at the same time, which caused the elevator to stop and trap them inside.

Morrell said jumping can create a safety hazard for riders who get stuck and first responders who rescue them. He said it is also an inconvenience.

"If the elevator is damaged in the rescue, it's out of commission for our ADA users and hotel guests," Morrell said. 

Columbia residents who park in the garage said they had mixed opinions about the new changes.

Kris Roberson said it's probably a good idea.

"There's safety concerns, there are people getting trapped. There's a lot of cost in having to repair elevators," she said. 

Lily Roberts said, "I thought they were weird. I didn't even know those signs existed. I got into the elevator to go to my car, and they just showed up one day. I know teenagers do that, obviously, but I didn't know it was a serious issue that they needed to put cameras in the elevators."

The ordinance says it is a crime if someone "unlawfully rides in or upon another's automobile. airplane, motorcycle, motorboat or other motor-propelled vehicle," but Morrell said including Short Street elevator was approved by City Prosecutor Stephen Richey.

Roberson said she can understand the ordinance being used, even without elevators being explicitly mentioned. 

"The way that they are written can sometimes be very vague or very broad," she said. "So I just think they're trying to address as much as possible."