LAPD detective sets Ferris wheel record


Gus Martinez began the ride on the 130-foot Pacific Wheel Ferris wheel on the Santa Monica Pier on Thursday morning. Round and round he went for 25 hours and 30 seconds.

The 28-year LAPD veteran said despite the queasiness and the cold, the accomplishment was well worth it.

"I'm proud of myself. I was glad that I was able to do this, but not for me," Martinez said. "I did it for Special Olympics."

Martinez is a coach for the Special Olympics, mentoring and training not only his 23-year-old son Jason, who has Down syndrome, but other young athletes as well.

"They can accomplish anything," Martinez said. "They should be looked at and treated like any other teenager, any other child. They don't have limitations."

Jason has won 30 gold medals in Special Olympics swimming. He and his dad carried the torch for Special Olympics, handing it off to some of the 3,500 local law enforcement officers who support the games.

The Santa Monica Police Department will watch over the torch this weekend, and then kick off the 500-mile relay next week, leading up to the opening ceremony of the Special Olympics next Saturday in Long Beach.

Donations for Special Olympics Southern California can be made at

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