Man scales Trump Tower, NY police mobilize

A man climbs the outside of Trump Tower in New York, U.S., August 10, 2016. PHOTO: REUTERS

A man climbs the outside of Trump Tower in New York, U.S., August 10, 2016. PHOTO: REUTERS

NEW YORK: A shaggy-haired man was scaling Trump Tower in New York Wednesday using suction cups and prompting a police response outside the Manhattan headquarters of the Republican nominee for US president.

“We are sending our units there to try to find out what’s going on,” a New York police spokesman told AFP.

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Television footage showed the auburn-haired man with curls dressed in grey shorts, an olive T-shirt and white cap, using five suction cups to mount his ascent. He was also wearing a black backpack.

He was seen edging his way up the side of the building gingerly — at times his feet dangling precariously as he gripped onto the suction cups — on a hot and steamy afternoon with a heat advisory in effect.

The man, whose identity and motive was no immediately clear, was being watched by a crowd of onlookers, reporters and police, who cordoned off the block between Fifth and Madison Avenues, an AFP reporter said.

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At one point, personnel cut a piece of glass above him in an attempt to reel him in, police said, but more than two hours after officers received the call he was still embarked on his ascent.

New York billionaire and real estate developer Donald Trump lives in a marble triplex at the top of the 68-story building, which is also the headquarters of his Trump Organization and election campaign.

The Republican nominee was outside the city on Wednesday, holding a rally in Virginia with another event planned later in Florida.

He unleashed a firestorm on Tuesday when he suggested that “Second Amendment people” — those who support gun rights — could take action to stop Hillary Clinton from appointing US Supreme Court justices as president.

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Since he launched his controversial, media-saturated bid for the White House, the tower on New York’s prestigious Fifth Avenue has become a magnet for tourists.

Members of the public are free to roam inside its public atrium until 10 pm most days as part of an agreement that allowed Trump to build 20 stories higher.

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