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Police: Man Arrested After Climbing To Top Of Brooklyn Bridge

NEW YORK (CBSNewYork) -- Police said they arrested a man who climbed to the top of the Brooklyn Bridge Sunday afternoon.

According to officials, police officers observed 24-year-old Yaroslav Kolchin climb a support beam connected to the tower on the Brooklyn side of the Brooklyn Bridge at around 12:15 p.m.

Police said Kolchin had reached the top of the tower by the time additional police personnel had arrived on the scene.

Kolchin was seen walking back and forth on the landing, taking photos with his iPhone, police said. They said once a police aviation unit was hovering at altitude next to the tower, Kolchin began to descend safely down the same way he had climbed up.

Yaroslav Kolchin brooklyn bridge climb
Yaroslav Kolchin climbed the Brooklyn Bridge on Aug. 24, 2014 (Credit: CBS 2)

Kolchin was met by police at the security gate, where he was taken into custody without further incident.

Police said Kolchin did not cause any damage or attempt to remove anything from atop the tower.

Kolchin, who is from Russia but lives in Manhattan, was charged with reckless endangerment, obstructing governmental administration, criminal trespass and disorderly conduct.

New Yorkers who spoke with CBS 2's Don Champion were shocked to hear about Kolchin's stunt and yet another security breach at the bridge.

"I just noticed the two cars and I was like 'that doesn't deter anything,'" said Staten Island resident Soloman Olaiya.

"You can't watch every crazy guy who comes here wanting to do something stupid," said Jeremy Rawlings.

Police did not explain how Kolchin managed to begin climbing the bridge unnoticed, Champion reported.

The Brooklyn Bridge has been at the forefront of a security increase around New York City landmarks after two German artists climbed to the top of each tower and replaced the American flags with whitewashed versions of Old Glory.

Berlin-based Mischa Leinkauf and Mattias Wermke said they replaced the flags on top of the bridge with bleached-out versions as a tribute to public art.

They also said they switched the flags on July 22 to commemorate the 145th anniversary of German-born Brooklyn Bridge architect John August Roebling's death.

They confirmed in an email on Friday that the flags have been returned to U.S. officials.

After the flag swap incident, Police Commissioner Bill Bratton said the NYPD focuses much of its security on parts of the bridge that are critical to structural integrity.

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