'Spider-Man' Busted After 57-Story Climb up Building

'Spider-Man' Busted After 57-Story Climb up Building

Alain Robert, the French free climber dubbed "Spider-Man" for his gravity-defying feats, was arrested on the roof of a Sydney, Australia, skyscraper today after he scaled the 57-story building using just his bare hands and a bag of chalk dust.

YouTube - Police arrests French "spiderman" in Sydney

Robert, 48, ascended the 492-foot, twin-towered Lumiere apartment building in downtown Sydney in less than 30 minutes, without the help of safety equipment. On the way up, the Frenchman unfurled a banner advertising the climate change site onehundredmonths.org, which claims there's only a limited amount of time left before man-made greenhouse gases in the atmosphere reach an irreversibly dangerous level.

Astounded onlookers clapped and whooped at Robert's exhibition of urban climbing, also known as buildering. "I think it's amazing to climb that high without falling," Rachel Pepper, 11, told The Australian Associated Press. "He's got superhuman strength."

Sydney police, however, were less than thrilled with Spider-Man's display of derring-do. "The New South Wales Police look very dimly on this," spokesman Mark Christie told the BBC. "We've had to close streets, and we will be prosecuting him to the full extent of the law."

While the comic book Spider-Man almost always evades the police, his real-world counterpart was nabbed by law enforcers as soon as he reached the summit. A police statement said Robert was "charged with risking the safety of another by climbing a building and entering enclosed land." He has been granted bail and is scheduled to appear in court Friday.

Last year, Robert was fined $670 for illegally climbing the 41-story Royal Bank of Scotland building in central Sydney, and in 2003 he was arrested for scuttling up the iconic Harbour Bridge. In June, though, Robert was forced to call off plans to ascend Sydney's 790-foot-high Deutsche Bank building after security guards blocked his path.

Robert -- who has conquered structures in places ranging from Kuala Lumpur to New York -- discovered his talent for free climbing at age 12, when he was locked out of his parents' apartment in Valence, in southeastern France. Instead of waiting for his folks to return, he scaled eight stories and jumped in through an open window.

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