Trespassing, public nuisance charges for Millennium Tower climber

Skyscraperman made his point. Now he must face the law.

Dan Goodwin, who scaled the 58-story Millennium Tower using large suction cups Monday afternoon, was slapped with misdemeanor charges of trespassing and committing a public nuisance before being released from police, SFPD Police Officer Albie Esparza said Tuesday.

“He will have to go to court” for the stunt that caused a commotion downtown and was initially feared to be a suicide attempt, Esparza said.

As of Tuesday morning, the case had not yet been presented to the District Attorney’s Office, and so it was premature to determine what penalties Goodwin could face, DA spokeswoman Erica Derryck said.

Goodwin, 54, of Lake Tahoe, started climbing about 1 p.m. and reached the top of the building at Fremont and Mission streets around 5:20 p.m., Lt. Kevin McNaughton said. The antic blocked traffic and forced Muni buses to be rerouted, while spectators craned their necks to watch Goodwin, who once called himself “Spiderdan” and goes by the name “Skyscraperman.”

He said he was raising awareness about the vulnerability of skyscrapers.

“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.

“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 trying 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 assess his mental state, according to police.

maldax@sfexaminer.com

esherbert@sfexaminer.com

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