'SpiderDan' happy with results of climb

A man who used suction cups to scale a luxury residential tower in San Francisco's South of Market neighborhood on Monday afternoon said Tuesday that he was happy with what the climb accomplished despite police claims the stunt unnecessarily pulled resources away from other parts of The City.

Dan Goodwin, 54, also known as “SpiderDan,” began making his way up the side of the Millennium Tower condominium complex at about 2:15 p.m.

Roughly three hours later, he reached a 58th-floor landing, where he waved an American flag, taped it to the building, and was promptly taken into custody.

Goodwin said Tuesday by phone he was arrested for misdemeanor charges of trespassing and being a public nuisance.

Goodwin, who recently published a book, “Skyscraperman,” said the climb was meant to draw attention to the vulnerability of skyscrapers to terrorist attacks and to raise awareness about cancer, saying he is a survivor of stage 4 cancer.

He cited the Sept. 11, 2001, terrorist attacks, which killed thousands of people in the World Trade Center twin towers, as a primary example of the lack of resources needed to rescue people from skyscrapers.

Goodwin said the climb was just his latest attempt to bring attention to the issue, and he was happy about the attention it has received.

The story has been covered by national and international media outlets.

“People have wanted to know, 'Could you have done it another way?'” Goodwin said. “And the thing is, I have tried it another way. I've sent letters to the president, the vice president, the Department of Homeland Security, but didn't get a response.”

He said the mild weather conditions in San Francisco on Monday were ideal for the climb, compared to the foggy, windy conditions in The City on Tuesday.

“If it was today, it would be a completely different type of climb,” he said.

Firefighters and police officers were waiting for Goodwin when he reached the top of the building, and the firefighters helped him tape the flag to the building before he was arrested.

“The firefighters were so supportive,” he said.

San Francisco police Officer Samson Chan said, though, that police and fire officials were not pleased with the stunt, which brought “a good number of officers out there” to the tower.

“I think we were lucky that there wasn't any major incidents going on at the same time,” Chan said. “Otherwise we might have been short on immediate personnel.”

Along with his concern about the vulnerability of skyscrapers, Goodwin said he hoped the climb was encouraging for other people dealing with cancer.

“It was a message to all the people out there, reminding them not to give up, and to give them hope,” he said.

The Millennium Tower is the tallest residential building west of the Mississippi and the fourth-tallest building of San Francisco's skyline.

Goodwin's other climbing feats include the Sears Tower in Chicago and the north tower of the World Trade Center.

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