The guy who scaled Millenium Tower using only suction cups in 2010 was convicted Tuesday on public nuisance and obstructing arrest charges, both misdemeanors. Dan Goodwin, aka “Spider Dan,” will be sentenced Feb 1. He faces a maximum of one year in prison and a $1,000 fine.

Sounds like the judge had it in for him. From a Chronicle story written during the trial:

After listening for several minutes as Goodwin testified about how his feat was really a message about fire safety, Superior Court Judge Teri Jackson irritably said the only issues for the jury to resolve are: Did he trespass, was his stunt a nuisance to the public, and did he try to evade arresting officers?

Goodwin, 55, testified that he climbed the 301 Mission St. residential high-rise Sept. 6 before a gawking Labor Day crowd to draw attention to what he sees as a national lack of preparedness to fight skyscraper fires.

He also said that he wanted to make the point that if he, a cancer survivor, can beat the deadly disease and scale tall buildings, other survivors can do daunting things, too.

But Jackson wasn’t buying it.

“Free speech is not a defense in this case,” she tersely told Goodwin’s attorney, Deputy Public Defender Herman Holland, after shutting off his line of questioning that had Goodwin delving deeper into his reasons for climbing the tower. “His reasons are not even legal defenses.”

I hope he doesn’t go to jail — he’ll be climbing the walls.

Here’s an interview that KGO conducted with Spider Dan after he came down from Millenium Tower last year.

And here’s raw video of the climb:

Wikipedia lists nine previous Dan clamberings up the sides of building going back to 1981, including jaunts up the Sears Tower and the World Trade Center.

The Fall of Spider Dan 27 January,2011Jon Brooks


Jon Brooks

Jon Brooks is the host and editor of KQED’s health and technology blog, Future of You. He is the former editor of KQED’s daily news blog, News Fix. A veteran blogger, he previously worked for Yahoo! in various news writing and editing roles. He was also the editor of, which documented user-generated content about the financial crisis and recession. Jon is also a playwright whose work has been produced in San Francisco, New York, Italy, and around the U.S. He has written about film for his own blog and studied film at Boston University. He has an MFA in Creative Writing from Brooklyn College.

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