August 6, 2007 / 1:01 PM / 12 years ago

French "Spiderman" arrested atop Lisbon bridge

LISBON (Reuters) - A French daredevil climber, who has scaled skyscrapers around the world, was arrested once again on Monday after reaching the top of a bridge overlooking Lisbon.

French daredevil climber Alain Robert, known as "Spiderman", climbs up the April 25 bridge over the Tagus river in Lisbon August 6, 2007. Robert, 44, completed the 190 metre climb during rush hour on Monday before giving himself up. REUTERS/Marcos Borga

Alain Robert, 44, also known as the French Spiderman, used no ropes when he climbed the 190 metres (620 feet) over the Tagus River during rush hour on Monday. Robert said he had been arrested more than 100 times for climbing buildings.

“I’m still at the bridge with the police,” he told Reuters by phone after the climb. “It was a very difficult job because the wind was strong and the cables on the bridge kept on swinging.”

A helicopter hovered above Lisbon’s 25th of April bridge - similar to San Francisco’s Golden Gate bridge - filming Robert for a documentary while hundreds of commuters looked up.

“I hope the documentary that is being filmed will land me some advertising contracts in the future,” the world’s most famous urban climber said.

Two policemen standing at the top of the pillar arrested Robert for trespassing. He will have to pay a fine of 120 euros ($166) before being released.

Robert first climbed a building at the age of 12 when he got locked out of his apartment and decided to mount the eight stories up to an open window.

He has since climbed more than 70 buildings around the world, including Chicago’s Sears Tower in 1999.

“I don’t see myself as risking my life,” he said in an interview before his latest climb. “Getting arrested isn’t fun but it shows people the values of freedom and courage.”

Robert was proclaimed 60-percent disabled after landing on his head from a 15-metre drop 25 years ago. Although he now suffers from epilepsy and vertigo, his confidence is unwavering.

“I learned to do things with my body as it is now. Most of my accidents happened long ago, I became a stronger climber because of them,” he said.

Asked whether he thought about retiring, Robert said: “I don’t think about it yet, I don’t want that pressure. While my body still works I’ll keep going.”

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