'Spiderman' scales Sears Tower in Chicago
August 20, 1999
CHICAGO -- The French daredevil known as "Spiderman" scaled the Sears Tower in Chicago at dawn Friday, adding the tallest building in North America to his worldwide climbing conquests.
Alain Robert was greeted at the top of the 110-story, 1,454- foot building by Sears workers and Chicago police, who helped him up before arresting him. A police spokeswoman said Robert faces at least trespassing charges.
"He ... had a reception party waiting for him when he reached the top," said Patrick Camden, a spokesman for the Chicago Police Department.
Robert attached a safety harness to the building for his ascent, which began shortly after 6 a.m. local time (5 a.m. EDT). He occasionally paused to dust his hands with chalk, and stopped once to dust a greeting on a window for office workers, who waved when he passed.
Down below, about 100 people who watched the feat on their way to work in Chicago's central business district cheered when Robert, clad in red shirt and pants, reached the top in little more than one hour.
"I think it's great," Holly Liss, a futures broker for Fuji Securities Inc., said. But electrician Scott Kerivan commented: "Most people are here to see if he falls."
But by the time he reached the top floor clouds had rolled in, partially obscuring the view of his conquest from the street below.
Robert, who has also climbed the Empire State Building and the Eiffel Tower, used a channel for window washing equipment to gain footholds on the building, which was the world's tallest office structure until it was eclipsed by the Petronas Towers in Kuala Lumpur, Malaysia.
He has also climbed the 54-story Shinjuku Tower in Tokyo, the 41-story Marriott Hotel in Warsaw, the obelisk in Paris's Place de la Concorde, the Canary Wharf building in London and the Golden Gate Bridge in San Francisco.
His exploits have resulted in several other arrests and minor charges.
Reuters contributed to this report.
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