High climber says it’s all in fun, but police start criminal investigation

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CALGARY — A 21-year-old Vancouver man’s video posts of his death-defying climbs of public buildings are getting a lot of attention online — and from Calgary police.

Joseph McGuire recently climbed the 24-storey Eau Claire Tower and a construction crane atop it, saying he did it because he considers it a sport and he likes the view.

McGuire has also climbed the Trump Tower in Vancouver.

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But Insp. Tom Hanson says police are considering laying criminal charges that could result in jail time or a substantial fines.

He says police want to dissuade others from following in McGuire’s footsteps.

Hanson says such activities have the potential to injure either the climber, citizens on the ground below or emergency responders called to rescue someone from a dangerous situation.

He says there’s always a risk that somebody thinks they can do something even more extreme.

McGuire says it’s all harmless fun.

“People look at (my videos) not because it’s so amazing — I guess it is in a way — but because you don’t see it very often,” he says. “I really like to share my art and inspire others so that they can also do what they dream of.”

Born and raised in Tokyo, McGuire says he began “roof topping” at the age of nine as an escape from his home life. His family relocated to Canada when he was 12.

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McGuire says his climbing began as a way of facing his fears while receiving an adrenaline rush, but the thrill has transitioned into a feeling of pure joy.

He says he does not receive financial compensation from his videos.

“I don’t break things, I don’t hurt people, I don’t steal things and I just do it for fun and to inspire others.”

(CTV Calgary)

 

The Canadian Press

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