A man who scaled a luxury residential tower in San Francisco’s South of Market neighborhood in September was found guilty Tuesday of two misdemeanor charges related to his climb.
Dan Goodwin, 55, also known as “SpiderDan,” used suction cups to climb up the side of the Millennium Tower at 301 Mission St. on Labor Day. He was arrested after reaching a 59th floor balcony on top of the building.
On Tuesday, a San Francisco Superior Court jury found him guilty of being a public nuisance and delaying or obstructing arrest.
A third charge of trespassing was dismissed by Judge Teri Jackson before the case went to the jury late Tuesday morning.
Goodwin said he climbed the building because he wanted to draw attention to the vulnerability of skyscrapers, saying firefighters are unable to effectively fight fires in high-rise buildings.
He said in an interview outside the courtroom last week that the Sept. 11, 2001, attacks on the World Trade Center in New York were a prime example of the lack of rescue options available when dealing with skyscrapers.
He was not allowed to discuss the terrorist attacks when he took the witness stand on Monday.
“You need a legal reason, not a moral reason, against these charges,” Jackson told Goodwin and his attorney, Herman Holland.
Goodwin was charged with being a public nuisance because authorities were forced to shut down Mission Street for more than three hours during his climb.
He was also convicted for ignoring officers’ orders to come down after he had started his ascent. Goodwin had argued on the witness stand that he did not hear the officers since he was already several stories up on the building.
The trespassing charge was for going uninvited onto the 59th floor balcony, but the judge ruled that police had ordered him to climb down to there, and he could have faced additional resisting arrest charges if he had refused.
Goodwin said he has climbed about 10 skyscrapers, including a few where he gained permission beforehand, and had never been convicted of any charges for his actions. He did go to trial, however, for climbing Chicago’s John Hancock Center in the 1980s.
He faces a maximum of one year in prison and a $1,000 fine when he is sentenced on Feb. 1.
Dan McMenamin, Bay City News