An unidentified man dressed in a Superman costume scaled a bronze sculpture of Washington, joining the presidential likeness astride his trusted steed to rant about freedom until the NYPD pulled him down.
“He was actually screaming,” said Normal Bob Smith, a blogger and Union Square regular who was there to capture the chaos as it unfolded.
Smith said the man’s ranting centered on freedom, and he shouted that while everyone else was fighting about the freedom of America, he was fighting for the freedom of the world.
Jessica De La Rosa, 32, who works nearby, was part of the crowd onlookers who gathered in front of the statue while the man hollered about freedom.
“I don’t know if he was all there,” De La Rosa said. “I mean, who wakes up in the morning and wants to put on a Superman suit?”
When the police arrived, about an hour after the man scaled the statue, witnesses said he tried to climb on top of Washington’s head to escape. But eventually, he gave up, submitted to a pair of handcuffs and allowed police to help to him climb down a ladder back to solid ground. He was strapped to a gurney and taken away from the scene by ambulance.
“I guess he wanted attention,” De La Rosa said. “And that’s what he got.”