GOLDEN GATE BRIDGE, Calilf. (KTVU) - Two daredevils climbed the iconic Golden Gate bridge, doing flips and walking on top of the 750-foot walkways in the dark, all of which was captured in a video and posted on YouTube this month.
The video, first posted on May 7, features YouTube daredevil Peter Teatime, 18, and his partner, Tommy Rector, who is in his 20s. The young men, both from who is from Allenton, Wisconsin, were in the Bay Area during spring break in April. "We just had to do it," Teatime told KTVU in a phone interview on Tuesday.
Should the Golden Gate Bridge climbers be charged, or should the district work with them to fix security flaws? https://t.co/hKj7ZzhsqX— KTVU (@KTVU) May 17, 2017
The video shows them sprinting up the bridge’s frame, at one point, stopping to do a backflip and a somersault. The pair also dangled their bodies over the edge of one of the bridge’s towers, with only their fingertips stopping them from making the long fall to the ground below. It is illegal to climb the bridge. Teatime said he and his buddy climbed the cables at 3 a.m. on purpose to ensure that there would be less traffic down below. He said he is an experienced climber.
At a news conference on Tuesday, General Manager of the Golden Gate Bridge Dennis Mulligan said bridge officials were not aware of the incident until it was posted online and they received a link. Officials said someone sent them a link after it was posted online - about a week and a half after the original video was posted online.
Mulligan said either of the men could have slipped and fallen, which could have caused injuries to both the men and drivers below. "We will be taking steps to make sure they will not be able to do that again," said Mulligan. He added, there are hundreds of cameras on the bridge but the cameras are set up to protect against terrorist attacks and protecting the structure. At this point, they do not have alarms on the bridge for "reckless behavior." Although they will be looking at new security procedures to prevent incidents like this.
Mulligan said the two men climbed vertical suspender ropes without any harnesses or fall protection. "The Golden Gate Bridge is not an amusement park ride," he said, adding that climbing on the Golden Gate Bridge is a misdemeanor. At this point, it's unclear if the men will face charges.
Teatime said he hopes he won't be arrested and even plans to to contact bridge officials to help them identify flaws in their security system. As for what his parents said to him, Teatime said: "You know, they said the normal parent kind of stuff, like 'Don't do that, you can get hurt.'"
Since the Sept. 11 attacks, the Golden Gate Bridge, Highway and Transportation District has received millions of dollars in Homeland Security grants and awards to bolster security, according to state records. But people have trespassed despite these measures. In 2012, a man climbed the suspension cables of the bridge, and in 2008, three protesters hung a "Free Tibet" sign from the top of the bridge.
Separately, last month, work began to install a stainless steel net under the bridge intended to prevent suicide jumps. That work is expected to take four years and cost about $200 million.