Man arrested for tight-rope walking across Steel Bridge

Man arrested for tight-rope walking across Steel Bridge

Man arrested for tight-rope walking across Steel Bridge

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by Sara Roth, KGW.com Staff

KREM.com

Posted on August 2, 2014 at 3:11 PM

PORTLAND, Ore. - A Portland man was arrested for tight-rope walking across the Steel Bridge Saturday morning.

At first, River Patrol believed they were responding to a jumper on the bridge around 6 a.m. Saturday.

When they arrived, they found Benjamin Lovitz of Southwest Portland tight-rope walking across the 270-foot-high cables that rise and lower the lift span, according to Sgt. Steve Dangler of the Multnomah County Sheriff's Office. 

Police blocked off the bridge and the Bridge Tender shut down the bridge so it couldn't lift and likely send Lovitz tumbling off the cables. 

Lovitz was walking from the west tower to the east tower. As Portland police and fire officials watched, and river patrol boats waited to see if he would fall or jump, Lovitz spent 10 minutes walking across the cable, then climbing down the stairs on the east tower, where he met police. 

Lovitz was escorted down to the main deck and taken into custody, Dangler said. He was charged with trespass and disorderly conduct. 

In 1974, tight-rope artist Philippe Petit walked between the twin towers at New York City's World Trade Center. The documentary, Man on Wire, detailed the event. 

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