May 1, 2016
Brooklyn Bridge Climbers Arrested After Attempting 'Sunrise Selfie'

Two Brooklyn Bridge climbers were arrested on Saturday morning when they were spotted by a police officer. The pair are from Connecticut and told police they wanted to take a photo of the sunrise from a better angle. Sean Cody, 25, of Southport, and Scott Lockett, 24, of New Canaan, were charged with criminal trespassing and reckless endangerment.

According to NBC 4 in New York, police received a report at 6:10 a.m. that two men were on a beam over the roadway. The officer talked to the Brooklyn Bridge climbers, and they were taken into custody without incident. It was unknown if they had obtained lawyers.

Tourists can't seem to resist climbing the Brooklyn Bridge for "selfies." In November 2014, French tourist Yonathin Souid climbed the bridge to take photos. An Argentinian tourist in September 2015, 23-year-old Jorge Arredondo, was caught attempting to scale the bridge.

In August 2015, 21-year-old David Karnauch was arrested on a fugitive warrant to face second-degree reckless endangerment and other misdemeanor charges after posting photos on Facebook and Instagram of himself on the bridge. He was extradited from his home state of Tennessee, the New York Daily News reported.

At the time, Brooklyn District Attorney Ken Thompson said, "We take these incidents seriously and will continue to vigorously prosecute them. Snapping a photo is not worth the safety risk and the consequences of a criminal case."

Karnauch did admit he took a major risk, telling investigators, "I don't recommend anybody else do it. It's not a smart thing to do because I know they take security on the bridges seriously."

Karnauch's lawyer argued there should be signs posted to warn tourists that climbing the bridge is off-limits; however, there are barriers that were put in place by the Department of Transportation after an incident in July 2014 with German tourists.

That incident involved German artists Mischa Leinkauf and Matthias Wermke, who climbed the Brooklyn Bridge at night and switched out American flags with white flags. The duo took responsibility for the swap two days later, after they returned to Germany. They claimed the switched flags were to celebrate the German engineer who designed the bridge.

Sometimes people have climbed the Brooklyn Bridge for no other reason than snapping a "selfie." As recently as last week on April 26, a 31-year-old man described as "emotionally disturbed" and dressed in all-black jumped from the bridge and survived with non-life threatening injuries. Two NYPD Harbor cops saw him jump 135 feet into the water and were able to save him.

Officer Roccasalvo said, "He was going straight down, hands at his side... I couldn't believe it. It freaked me out... but we do a lot of training and it comes... naturally."

Officer Bebenista added, "You just want to get there and render assistance."

The Examiner reports the only people authorized to climb to the top of the Brooklyn Bridge are maintenance workers and NYPD officers for training for incidents such as the one described above.

An unidentified woman climbed the Brooklyn Bridge in November 2015, holding a sign that read, "Leave me alone Corrupt Justice Innocent." Police climbed onto the bridge to negotiate with the woman.

Officer Conor Farrell said, "She was speaking very incoherently and we couldn't make much sense of what she was saying. She was very upset so we kept on telling her that we were there to help her and just wanted her to come down from the bridge."

She appeared to be ready to jump, but police were able to get her down safely. She was taken to a psychiatric hospital.

As for the Connecticut tourists who claimed they wanted a photo of the sunrise, the two were unable to snap their coveted photo in time before being ordered down by a police officer and spending the morning in jail.

[Photo by Robert Mecea/AP]