Ferris Wheel Enters Guinness World Record Book

LAPD detective Gus Martinez now boasts the longest ride on a Ferris wheel. He and his son celebrate the new record at the Santa Monica Pier by lighting the official Southern California Law Enforcement Torch.

Riding the 130-foot tall Ferris wheel at , a Los Angeles Police Department detective set a Guinness World Record record Friday morning.

Ending at 8:30 a.m., Gus Martinez rode the Ferris wheel on the Santa Monica pier for 25 hours, surpassing by 30 minutes the record set in October in Dublin, Ireland.


Martinez, who said he doesn't like heights, made the record-setting ride to raise funds and awareness for Special Olympics Southern California. His 23-year-old son, Jason, has Down syndrome and has won more than 30 gold medals in Special Olympics swimming competitions.

On Friday morning, Martinez and his son posed for pictures and participated in a ceremony to light the official Southern California Law Enforcement Torch, held by a Santa Monica police officer and a Special Olympics Southern California athlete.

"It's a very personal and close deal to my heart," Martinez said of the Special Olympics. "It's done wonderful things for our son."

Martinez coaches and volunteers with the organization when he's off duty.

He and his son planned to run a few blocks from the to the where the flame was to be kept for the weekend before the relay to Cal State Long Beach, site of the Special Olympics Summer Games, resumes.

During the 25-hour ride, Martinez was allowed to take four-minute breaks. His gondola was equipped with a solar panel that powered a flast-screen TV and he had access to an iPad and cellphone.

"It's a smooth ride... I'm enjoying the view," he said about 2 hours into the ride.

— City News Service contributed to this report.

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