WASHINGTON — A man is scaling Trump Tower using giant suction cups.
Neither the climber’s identity nor his political purpose, if any, were immediately clear as the long-haired man in baseball cap and climbing gear slowly pulled his way up the glass structure.
Trump Tower is the Republican presidential nominee’s highest-profile property, and where his campaign is headquartered — next to Central Park in Manhattan.
The real estate mogul was not in the building at the time of the climb, but on the campaign trail in Virginia.
Police broke windows, raised a ladder and cut through a vent in attempts to talk to the climber. But they have no immediate intention of trying to pull him in, according to a law enforcement source. Instead they are hoping he will tire before reaching the top of the building.
The New York Police Department has set up two “airbags,” one on the atrium below the climber and one on the sidewalk on 56th Street near 5th Avenue, according to Lt. Jones (no first name given) and Sgt .Carlos Nieves, from the deputy commissioner of public information office.
At about 5:45 p.m., Nieves said that the NYPD will “probably not” cut out any more window panes because the glass fell the last time and is dangerous. No one was injured.
But at 6:20 p.m., he said two windows have been removed from the 21st Floor the NYPD Emergency Service Unit is attempting to talk the climber in.
Onlookers started documenting the man’s ascent on social media shortly after 4 p.m., saying he had reached the 5th floor of the 58-story building on Fifth Avenue. He was at the 16th floor around 5 p.m.
This isn’t the first time a climber has ascended a building using suction cups.
French rock and urban climber Alain Robert used suction cups and a rope to climb the Galaxy Macau Tower in China to promote “The Amazing Spider-Man 2” in April 2014.
A similar feat was attempted by professional climber Sierra Blair-Coyle, who hauled herself up a 33-story building in South Korea in May 2016 with two vacuum cleaners to promote LG’s newest CordZero model.
Science entertainment television program “MythBusters” investigated Hollywood heist scenes and tested whether it was possible to scale an air duct using suction cups in episode 54, which aired in July 2006.
Presenter Jamie Hyneman found suction cups were able to hold his weight but the noise of his contraption, which included a vacuum, were too noisy and blew his cover.
This story is being updated.