Judge Wants Russian Tourist Who Scaled Brooklyn Bridge to Clean It
By Natalie Musumeci on August 29, 2014 1:36pm |
BROOKLYN — A judge wants the Russian tourist who scaled the Brooklyn Bridge last week "for fun" to clean up the iconic span rather than do jail time.
Judge ShawnDya Simpson said Friday that Yaroslav Kolchin, 24, should serve community service for his climb up the span, rejecting an offer by the district attorney’s office for a 90-day jail sentence.
“If he likes the bridge, then let him clean the bridge,” Simpson said in Brooklyn Criminal Court Friday.
“I’m not condoning his behavior,” Simpson added. “Was it the smartest thing to do? No. Was it malicious? I don’t think so, so I think you need to work it out.”
Kolchin, who refused to speak with reporters after his court appearance, was arrested on Aug. 24 after he climbed to the top of the bridge tower on the Brooklyn side to snap iPhone photos, police said.
He was charged with reckless endangerment, criminal trespass and disorderly conduct.
Kolchin told police he scaled the bridge "for fun," according to the Brooklyn District Attorney.
The climbing stunt cost the police department a total of $7,407 for an hour and a half worth of labor, according to assistant district attorney Lawrence Mottola, who offered up the 90-day jail sentence for a misdemeanor trespassing charge.
“It was a scare. It was a daytime incident, and it was a large police presence,” said Mottola, adding that the sum is the projected cost of a helicopter, two boats and patrol units that were deployed.
But the judge felt the crime did not merit time behind bars.
“Let him do community service and if he doesn’t do it then he goes to jail,” Simpson said.
“We’re going to work with the district attorney’s office in order to resolve this matter expeditiously,” Kolchin’s lawyer Rovshan Sharifov said.
His next court date is scheduled for Sept. 19. He is currently out on bail.
Kolchin’s crime comes after the two American flags atop the bridge were swapped with white flags last month, with two German artists claiming responsibility for the prank.
It remains unclear if the artists will be charged.