Youtuber arrested for fiery helicopter stunt

EL MIRAGE, CA – A 24-year-old man from California was arrested and holds charges for a dangerous online stunt involving a helicopter, fireworks, and a Lamborghini sports car on YouTube. Suk Min Choi, known online as “Alex Choi,” hails from Studio City, California. The Justice Department released a news statement on Thursday, claiming Choi’s involvement in causing the placement of an explosive device on an aircraft. Following his arrest on Wednesday, Choi is anticipated to make his first court appearance later on Thursday in downtown Los Angeles.

The federal complaint includes a video Choi shared on YouTube, titled “Destroying a Lamborghini with Fireworks,” posted on July 4, 2023. The affidavit alleges that in the video, Choi prompts two women in a helicopter to fire fireworks at a Lamborghini accelerating below them. It is the general belief of law enforcement that the footage was taken at the El Mirage Dry Lakebed.

The video, as explained by prosecutors, moves to a behind-the-scenes segment post initiating a real life enactment of an assumed video game scenario. During this segment, Choi references his own contribution in directing and coordinating the shoot. Specific acknowledgments include a remark in the video appreciating a camera company for supporting his “crazy stupid ideas.” Choi also allegedly admits an oversight on his part in forgetting to instruct a friend on using a torch.

The video further discloses Choi’s decision to halt filming upon running out of fireworks. Based on the criminal complaint, laws enforcement suspects that the video was filmed a month earlier, in June 2023. The officials also imply that Choi operated without a permit for shooting with fireworks on a helicopter and that the fireworks were sourced from Nevada due to their prohibition in California.

Upon conviction, Choi stands the risk of imprisonment for a maximum of 10 years, as per the federal law. His arraignment awaits in the next few weeks.