Brooklyn Heights

Adams and Squadron: Throw the book at future Brooklyn Bridge climbers

VIDEO: Watch cops make the grab

August 26, 2014 By Mary Frost Brooklyn Daily Eagle
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After a Russian tourist was apprehended climbing on the Brooklyn Bridge on Sunday, Brooklyn Borough President Eric Adams and state Sen. Daniel Squadron called for harsher penalties for thrill-seekers pulling these kinds of stunts.

“It is clear that we are not doing enough to prevent foolish selfie-takers and statement-makers from putting themselves and others in harm’s way,” Adams, a former cop, said in a statement on Monday.

Adams said he is partnering with Squadron to introduce legislation in Albany that will raise the penalty on those who trespass in areas “deemed to be high risk.”

“Sites such as landmarks, bridges, tunnels, utilities and centers of government need to be secure from all threats, regardless of the perceived severity, for the impact such incidents have on law enforcement deployment and the potential need for further response escalation,” Adams said.

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Yaroslav Kolchin, 24, climbed a cable to a tower at about 12:15 p.m. Sunday and took photos with his smartphone. Kolchin was arrested as he descended and was charged with reckless endangerment, trespassing and disorderly conduct, according to AP.

He is being held on $5,000 bond after his arraignment Monday in Brooklyn, and his tour group headed back to Russia.

The incident marked the second time in roughly a month that a European visitor breached bridge security. A pair of German artists have taken credit for an incident that occurred on July 22, when two giant American flags were swiped from their posts atop each tower and replaced with hand-sewn white flags. The original flags were returned to the U.S. last week, authorities said.

On August 19, cops received reports of yet another bridge-climber, described as having “red hair and wearing blue Bermuda shorts.” NYPD aviation, marine and ground units did not find anyone climbing the bridge, however.

With the Brooklyn Bridge walkway jammed with pedestrians, the same level of resources were thrown at Sunday’s climber.

“I thank the NYPD for their swift action in addressing another reckless individual who, in broad daylight no less, chose to climb the Brooklyn Bridge and put the safety of law enforcement and bystanders at risk,” Adams said.

He added, “If someone wants to be a thrill seeker in Brooklyn, I suggest they try the rides in Coney Island.” 

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