Man tries to scale Trump Tower with suction cups, gets arrested

The identity of the climber is not yet known, but a mysterious video posted online one day earlier shows a young man talking about his plan to scale the Manhattan skyscraper.
August 10, 2016, 10:35pm
A man scales the all-glass facade of Trump Tower, Wednesday, Aug. 10, 2016, in New York. (AP Photo/Julie Jacobson)

Thousands of viewers were riveted on social media on Wednesday by a man who took it upon himself to scale the side of Trump Tower in Manhattan using a contraption made of five suction cups, a harness and ropes. He made it about as far as the 16th floor out of 58 before being stopped by police officers leaning out a window and pulled in to be arrested. Climbing skyscrapers is illegal.

Police officers had cut a hole in the side of the mirrored skyscraper and tried to coax the climber from making further progress. Officers later commandeered a window washer's platform in an attempt to reach him, but he escaped their grasp. They succeeded later, out of an open window.

The long-haired climber, who was wearing a backpack, was arrested after about two hours on the side of the tower, at around 6.40pm.

The identity of the climber is not yet known. However, a video posted on YouTube a day earlier by "Leven Thumps" (named for a children's fantasy novel) shows a young man in a hooded sweatshirt who describes himself as an "independent researcher" and talks about his plans to climb the Trump Tower and request a private audience with the property mogul himself. "Believe me, if my purpose was not significant, i would not risk my life pursuing it," he says. "The reason I climbed your tower was to get your attention. If I had solved this via conventional means, i would be much less likely to have success because you are a busy man with many responsibilities."

"Be sure to get out and vote for Mr Trump in the 2016 election," he says, before signing off.

Meanwhile, the feat got a ton of attention online. Even former Republican candidate Mike Huckabee chimed in.

To the climber on Trump Tower---dude, the elevator is much quicker. And WAY safer. There's better way to be social climber!

— Gov. Mike Huckabee (@GovMikeHuckabee)August 10, 2016

Emergency responders also rolled out an inflatable surface below the building – presumably to soften the landing should he fall.

Self-described billionaire and Republican presidential nominee Donald Trump lives in the tower. It is also ground zero for his presidential campaign. Trump wasn't there – he was in Florida on the campaign trail.