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Teens Climb Golden Gate Bridge, Freak Everyone Out

Authorities reportedly didn't know about it until they saw the video on social media.

by Lauren Messman
18 May 2017, 12:26am

While some Americans spent their spring break torturing sea creatures, two teenagers from Wisconsin decided they'd visit one the country's most iconic landmarks during their week off—San Francisco's Golden Gate Bridge. But Peter Teatime and Tommy Rector weren't satisfied with taking a measly Snapchat video of the hulking structure—they decided to climb up it without any safety gear.

According a local ABC affiliate, the duo managed to pull of their stunt by driving off to the side of the bridge, then shimmying up its suspension cables that ran to the ground. Once they got to the top of the bridge's tower, they started doing somersaults and hanging off the edge of the beams, naturally filming the entire thing before posting it online.

But what's even scarier than some of the high-wire stunts the two kids pulled is perhaps the fact that they were able to do it without triggering any alarms. According to CBS News, bridge authorities didn't even know Teatime and Rector had gotten up there until the video surfaced on the internet. Now the California Highway Patrol is teaming up with US Department of Homeland Security to find out exactly how the duo managed to get up the 746-foot structure undetected.

"That's scary stuff," former FBI agent Rick Smith told ABC 7 News. "It's a wake-up call—it allows you to look over the entire security plan for the bridge."

In a statement about the incident, which happened back in April, the Golden Gate Bridge, Highway, and Transportation District said the whole thing "raises questions about how such an unauthorized climb was possible and the potential harm to drivers, pedestrians, bicyclists, and the climbers themselves."

It's a pretty big blindspot for a city that's actively trying to make its namesake landmark safer. More than 1,500 people have committed suicide on the bridge in the 80 years since it was built, CBS San Francisco reports. Just last month, the city started to install a $200 million security net that will run underneath the bridge, acting as a safety measure for people who try to jump over the edge.

"To address these concerns, we have debriefed the incident internally, and have made changes to our security systems and our patrolling/monitoring patterns," the district said.

Teatime and Rector, who are now back home in Milwaukee, could still face misdemeanor trespassing charges and up to a year in jail, according to ABC 7 News. But one of the climbers thinks he'd be more valuable to law enforcement as a consultant.

"If their security wants to talk to me about beefing up security," Teatime told ABC 7, "I'd be happy to have a conversation with them."

san francisco
homeland security
Golden Gate Bridge