Philly officials investigate climber’s ‘rooftopping’ stunt at City Hall tower


Authorities are investigating how a man climbed — undetected — to the top of Philadelphia City Hall and then posted a video of his escapade online.

Police say the daredevil feat may constitute criminal trespassing.

Posted on YouTube under the handle “Exploring with Carson,” the video shows his 548-foot ascent and the view from above the clock tower over the course of a nearly 7-minute video. 

Philadelphia Police Capt. Sekou Kinebrew said Tuesday the stunt appears to have happened last month, when the top of City Hall was encased with scaffolding.

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“What might seem adventurous and recreational is very, very, very dangerous. I can’t stress that enough,” Kinebrew said. “And it’s also possibly illegal.”

Mike Dunn, spokesman for Mayor Jim Kenney, agreed that the security breach is not being taken lightly.

“City officials are very concerned about this video, what this person did is both dangerous and illegal, and we are looking into it,” he said.

The scaffolding, put in place for restoration of the William Penn statue, has been taken down. Dunn would not comment on what city regulations had been broken.

The man, who identified himself on the video as Carson King, said he climbed the building to take pictures of Philadelphia’s skyline. But Kinebrew said at a press briefing Tuesday that when he viewed the video, he was not impressed. Instead, Kinebrew said, he was full of fear for King. 

“I was scared. It’s like being on a roller-coaster. I was scared for him, because you’re looking at the height. You’re looking at the distance of where he was to the ground,” he said. “Nothing but bad things can happen when you’re up there.”

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