8booth, the OC man known for making sketchy jumps into the ocean and pools from cliffs and building roofs, finally met his match. He miscalculated a jump from the top of the Pacific Edge Hotel in Laguna Beach, shattering both feet when they clipped the edge of the pool on his way in.
The video, entitled “Pool Drop 💧 8 destroyed me,” was posted on Sunday with the message: “Both feet shattered as well as heals (sic). Help me.” On Monday, he posted on Instagram that he was “laying in the hospital with metal spikes holding my feet together.”
8booth, whose identity as Anthony Armer was revealed after an October arrest, was able to swim out of the pool. But when the filmer comes to his aid, the camera captures a slightly gruesome wound to his foot. It could have been worse. But it ain’t pretty.
And now, in an act probably as daring as the jumps themselves, Armer has launched a GoFundMe page, asking for money to help with his medical bills.
“Just seeking a little support to keep doing what I’m doing or else I’ll be working the rest of my life to pay this off. Asking a small favor from you. A donation of any kind would be phenomenal,” he writes on the page.
Plenty of well-wishers have offered messages wishing him a swift recovery. And by Tuesday evening, donors had given over $1,200 toward his goal of $10,000. But if you’re thinking, “Really, dude? You — the guy who jumps off of buildings, who nearly broke his back last summer — are asking us to pay your hospital bill?” you’re not alone.
Among the more toned down responses to that effect was this, from someone going by the handle nickmcfarland201: “Not trying to be cruel or anything, your (sic) a pretty rad dude but you did do this to yourself man.. have a good recovery.”
And this, from a user named Andres Martinez War who posted on the GoFundMe page: “Natural selection is working here. I’m not going against it. Think about it twice next time bud ;).”
Trolls will be trolls. But comments like these aren’t just born of a desire to spread hate. They make some fair points. Still, they might have been a surprise to Armer given the millions of YouTube hits, not to mention a sponsorship from clothing brand Gooch Apparel, he’s racked up since making the plunge into Internet fame.
In November, 8booth wrote a piece for The Inertia explaining how and why he started posting his videos. In it, he describes his motivations. A reader can’t help but see a contradiction.
At one point, he talks about how he’s a born daredevil, and views his stunts as “a competition with myself…to push the things I’ve been doing since I was a kid further.” And at another point, his motivations seem born from attention-craving. “I’m a diehard bodysurfer. I’d go, pull in, never receive a single shot from anyone, and it frustrated me. I had no friends at the time.”
His solution was to make millions of friends. Or at least fans and admirers. And, judging from the outpouring of criticism, lots of critics, too. Until something like this happens, there’s no telling how many of each of those people are behind the “Likes,” “Follows” and hits that propelled his noteriety.
Is 8booth an extreme athlete at the forefront of a budding sport? If he is, then maybe we owe him a debt of gratitude, and possibly a few bucks. I mean, if an early surfer got hurt giving birth to the modern sport we love today, it might seem in retrospect reasonable to ask for money. Maybe 8booth was paving the way for something great. He has been an inspiration to online commenters who’ve stated on his posts that they love watching his videos.
Or is he merely an attention seeker and a dimwit now asking for a handout?
If that’s the case, are the people making those comments some of the same ones who’ve pushed his YouTube hits into the millions? It’s hard to tell who’s being hypocritical, 8both or the people who’ve been watching his every move.
The comments on this Instagram post on 8booth’s account contain some of that vitriol, as well as the support, he’s received since the accident: