A lawyer for the "French Spiderman" who scaled the New York Times building last week believes his client should be honored, not reprimanded by the city. Alain Robert, who used the 52-story climb to draw attention to global warming (he unveiled a banner reading "Global warming kills more people than 9/11 every week"), appeared in court and faces misdemeanor charges including reckless endangerment, trespassing, disorderly conduct and graffiti.
Lawyer Daniel Arshack recalled George Willig's 1977 climb on the World Trade Center. Back then, Mayor Abe Beame only fined him one penny r for every floor scaled, for a total of $1.10. Of course, Mayor Bloomberg was displeased with Robert's and Renaldo Clarke's climbs, noting the hazards to public safety.
Robert was on the Today show and said he didn't intend to disrespect the families of 9/11 victims, "I feel so sad about what’s happened in New York seven years ago," but "The global warming is killing and the government are not doing that much." He is supposed to be back in court this October, and the Manhattan DA's office will decide whether to present the case to a grand jury. Robert told the AP, "If there is something I can do for the city of New York, I would be very happy to do it."
As for second climber Clarke, the NY Times' Jim Dwyer spoke to the 32-year-old, who used his ascent to promote awareness of malaria. Clarke had been thinking about climbing the building for two years and when he saw Robert do it, he decided to climb the building that day, too. After he was arrested, Clarke shared a jail cell with Robert for 10 minutes, "I said, ‘Hey, you’re Alain Robert.'"