Who Said the Devil Can't Be a Hero?

Amusement park worker dressed as devil saves teen from falling off Ferris wheel

Canadian Press June 10, 2004

STOCKHOLM, Sweden (AP) - Ben-Hur Pereira was dressed as a devil but became the guardian angel of a teenager dangling from a four-passenger gondola on a Ferris wheel.

Pereira, who works as a devil in the Ghost House at the Groena Lund amusement park in Stockholm, had stepped out of the attraction Wednesday and saw the 16-year-old boy holding tight to the gondola. He had somehow fallen out of the passenger compartment and was hanging 10 metres above the ground.

Pereira, a trained acrobat, scaled the Ferris wheel, reached the teenager and pushed him back inside the gondola car.

"I acted on impulse. I have the technique and had the equipment. To climb is my job and now it just happened this way," said Pereira, wearing a black body suit with flecks of red, a goatee and a silver stud in his lower lip.

"He was a devil of a hero," Robert Mesterton, Groena Lund's chief executive, told The Associated Press on Thursday.

Mesterton said park officials weren't sure how the boy managed to slip out of the gondola but when they saw what happened they stopped the ride.

The teenager wasn't injured but was taken to a hospital for a checkup and released.

Mesterton said the park has had the Ferris wheel for 30 years and Wednesday's incident was the first time anyone had been in danger of falling out. He said the incident is being investigated by the park and police.

© The Canadian Press 2004