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Police Arrest Teenage Daredevil Who Scaled Queensboro Bridge in Livestreamed Stunt

A screenshot of Sanchez’s livestream on top of the Queensboro Bridge (via Smooth Sanchez IRL youtube)

Oct. 23, 2020 By Allie Griffin

A teenage daredevil scaled the Queensboro Bridge Thursday evening and livestreamed the stunt to an audience watching online.

Malik Sanchez, 18, climbed up onto a support beam of the Ed Koch Queensboro Bridge — high above rush hour traffic below — just before 5 p.m., police said.

The teen, who lives in Manhattan, was arrested and charged with reckless endangerment, criminal trespassing and unlawful possession of noxious matter. He had pepper spray on him which he handed over to officers, police said.

Sanchez streamed the whole climb and police standoff on Youtube under the username “Smooth Sanchez IRL.”

He walked onto the bike and pedestrian pathway of the bridge on the north outer roadway and then climbed up a side support of the bridge to the upper roadway. From there, Sanchez scaled one of the horizontal beams towering high above cars passing below.

“This has been the time of my life,” Sanchez said as he scaled the beams. “I do this for fun.”

Viewers sent money to Sanchez during livestream as he climbed higher and higher. An automated voice played the donors’ comments — that were mostly vulgar and offensive — during the stream.

Sanchez spoke to his viewers during the climb.

“One wrong step and I could really fall through these cracks, but it will be a worthful [sic] death,” he said to the camera. “If I do fall, I will fall and I will laugh all the way down.”

Police officers showed up during the livestream after a 911 caller reported seeing a man scaling the Queensboro Bridge.

“[I] just wanted a better view, but now of course police arrived and sabotaged my plan,” Sanchez said as the NYPD arrived on scene.

He sat down across the beam with his ankles crossed nonchalantly as an officer from the NYPD’s highly trained Emergency Services Unit scaled the bridge.

“This would suck if I get arrested, right?” Sanchez said.

He then addressed his mother and family members and asked them to access the livestream donations through his PayPal account.

“If I do get arrested, access this and get the King back out in New York please,” Sanchez said, referring to himself.

Sanchez told officers he appreciated them and is not suicidal. He appeared to cooperate with the officer, who brought him down safely.

He was taken to Cornell Hospital for psychiatric evaluation before being discharged and arrested, police said.

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2 Comments

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young_man!

What kind of person donates money during the livestream to encourage this guy to continue climbing the outside of a bridge with no climbing gear? Hopefully paypal has some kind of policy to make sure someone breaking the law doesn’t get the money and donors are refunded.

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Anonymous

Oh, don’t be such a killjoy. As someone who grew up in the neighborhood, I did my share of reckless things and could only dream of climbing the 59th Street Bridge. Scaling skyscrapers, walking on tightropes, and other crazy public spectacles once made NYC the bizarre, off the wall place all of us were proud to call home. Today, the place is filled with such boring dead asses who don’t do anything more risky than flipping on a Keurig machine. Congrats, daredevil climber!

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