2 photographers arrested on top of 400-foot-high bridge

AP News
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Posted: Jul 25, 2017 2:36 PM

PHILADELPHIA (AP) — Two thrill-seeking photographers who climbed to the top Philadelphia's nearly 400-foot-tall Ben Franklin Bridge were arrested early Tuesday because they set off motion detectors during their ascent, officials said.

The pair, who wore all black clothing and carried backpacks full of camera gear, surrendered when a rescue team surrounded them atop one of the bridge's towers around 1 a.m., said John Hanson, CEO of Delaware River Port Authority, the agency that operates the bridge connecting downtown Philadelphia and Camden, New Jersey.

He identified the climbers as Martin J. Romero-Clark, of New York City, and Andrew Lillibridge, of Toledo, Ohio. A search of their social media profiles shows multiple high-altitude images from around the world, including pictures from the tops of other bridges.

Hanson said they got to the top of the tower via the structure's suspension cables.

Romero-Clark and Lillibridge were charged with multiple felonies, Hanson said. Attempts to reach them through Facebook messages and by phone were unsuccessful. It was not immediately clear if they had hired attorneys.

The road and the rail line that run along the bridge were closed off for more than an hour-and-a-half, Hanson said, adding that he couldn't recall another time when someone climbed to the top of the Ben Franklin Bridge to shoot photos.

More than 100,000 vehicles drive over the 91-year-old bridge every day, according to the port authority.