Man scales SF tower to make point

The warm weather and Labor Day holiday brought people outside in San Francisco on Monday, including one man who climbed a downtown skyscraper with nothing but large suction cups.

The man, whom police identified as Dan Goodwin, was taken into custody after the stunt, which was a way to call attention to the vulnerability of downtown buildings, according to police.

“Every day, thousands of people in our country spend time in high-rise buildings above the seventh floor and beyond the reach of fire ladders,” Goodwin said in a press release on his website.

Police were called to the Millennium Tower at Fremont and Mission streets after reports of a climber, according to officers at the scene.

Goodwin started the climb about 1 p.m., Lt. Kevin McNaughton said. Mission Street was shut down as a precaution, which blocked traffic and forced Muni buses to be rerouted, while spectators craned their necks to watch Goodwin — who has previously called himself “Spiderdan” and goes by the name “Skyscraperman” — scale the 58-story glass building.

“You have to have a lot of courage,” said Annette Carney, who stopped to watch the climb on her way through the area.

Police were called to the scene shortly after Millennium Tower resident Kenny Landes spotted Goodwin as he made it to the fourth floor. Landes, who had been outside the building taking pictures with his partner, alerted building security, which unsuccessfully attempted to try to talk down Goodwin, a rock climber who has scaled other buildings.

That is when security called police, who arrived at the scene not knowing whether it was a suicidal man or a security threat, officers said.

“We are used to strange things happening in San Francisco, but this is turning a new page,” Landes said.

Firefighters and police talked to Goodwin as he continued his ascent. He told them his intention was not to commit suicide, but rather to draw attention to the lax security around the building. He ignored pleas to come down and refused help from police and firefighters, police said.

Firefighters continued to shadow Goodwin floor by floor from inside the building, where they offered him assistance and water.

As Goodwin’s event drew a growing crowd around the building, Millennium Tower officials circulated a statement calling it a “publicity stunt.”

“The person climbing Millennium Tower has no affiliation with the building and we do not condone his/her actions,” the statement said.

Once Goodwin reached the top, he unfurled an American flag and began waving it, drawing applause from onlookers down on the street. He was then taken into custody.

Police escorted Goodwin — who was wearing a red shirt and red pants — through the building basement about 5:30 p.m., where they planned to interview him and determine his mental state, according to police.

esherbert@sfexaminer.com

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