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Steel Bridge high-wire act lands man in jail

Charges include trespassing, disorderly conduct


Photo Credit: COURTESY OF MCSO - Benjamin Lovitz of Southwest Portland faces charges Saturday after doing a tight-rope walk along the Steel Bridge lift cables, about 270 feet in the air.A 21-year-old man faces disorderly conduct and criminal trespassing charges Saturday after he took an early morning walk on the Steel Bridge's suspension wires, about 270 feet in the air.

Portland police arrested Benjamin Nathan Lovitz of Southwest Portland after 6 a.m. as he climbed down from the top of the bridge tower. Lovitz was booked into the Multnomah County Jail on charges of second-degree disorderly conduct and first-degree criminal trespass.

Photo Credit: COURTESY OF MCSO - Benjamin Nathan LovitzThe incident began at about 5:55 a.m., Saturday, Aug. 2, when Central and North Precinct officers responded a report that a man climbing the bridge towers. At first, the Multnomah County bridge tender thought the man might be planning to jump from the bridge. But, when police officers arrived, the man was doing a tight-rope walk across the lift cables.

Multnomah County's River Patrol and Portland Fire and Rescue responded and closed the bridge. The bridge tender shut down the machinery so the bridge could not lift.

For about 10 minutes, Lovitz walked across the cables from west to east, eventually climbing down the east tower to meet police officers on the bridge tender's platform, where he was arrested.

Boat were staged under the bridge in case he fell or jumped.