NEW YORK (AP) — A man spent more than 2 ½ hours scaling the glass facade of Trump Tower on Wednesday using large suction cups, climbing as high as the 21st floor before police officers grabbed him and hauled him to safety through an open window.
The climber had a backpack and used a harness and rope stirrups to fasten himself to the side of the 58-story Manhattan skyscraper.
Police officers smashed windows and broke through a ventilation duct in an attempt to block his progress. Officers also lowered themselves toward him using a window washer’s platform.
For a long time, the climber played a slow-motion cat-and-mouse game with his would-be rescuers, keeping his distance by methodically working his way back and forth across the facade and angled corners of the building. When would-be rescuers smashed a window above him, he ducked to avoid big shards of glass that fell.
The chase ended dramatically just after 6:30 p.m.
As a crowd gasped on the street below, two officers leaning far out of a window frame where the glass was removed grabbed the climber’s arm and backpack, and in a flash yanked him from his dangling stirrups. He went through the opening head first, his legs pointed skyward.
Police had deployed large, inflated crash pads at the scene, but it was unclear whether they were positioned close enough to where the man was climbing to offer any protection if he fell.
The tower is headquarters to Donald Trump’s Republican presidential campaign and his business empire. Trump also lives there, though he was in Virginia in the afternoon and was headed to Florida for an evening event.
A Trump campaign spokeswoman didn’t immediately respond to a request for comment.
“This man performed a ridiculous and dangerous stunt,” Michael Cohen, an executive at the Trump Organization, said in an emailed statement. “I’m 100 percent certain the NYPD had better things to do.”
Terraces and other parts of the building are open to the public during the day.