That’s one way to celebrate a 21st birthday. A Portland, Oregon, man marked the milestone by pulling a tightrope act atop that city’s Steel Bridge on Saturday morning, walking across the span on a narrow cable around 270 feet above the Willamette River — where he apparently proceeded to take a picture of the sunrise, law enforcement officials said.
“It was quite the act,” said Multnomah County Sheriff's Office Sgt. Steve Dangler, who responded to the 6 a.m. spectacle as part of a river patrol unit. “We were worried he was either going to jump or fall … When he got to the east tower he just stood there. It appeared to me that he took a picture of the sunrise. Then he walked down.”
Benjamin Lovitz was arrested by Portland police and booked on charges of trespassing and disorderly conduct, and later released. Police wouldn’t provide a motive for the stunt, and attempts to reach Lovitz were not immediately successful. Dangler said that had Lovitz gone unnoticed and timed his trek over the lift bridge a few minutes later, the result could have been deadly — a tugboat pushing a barge was scheduled to pass underneath the lift bridge five minutes after he was arrested. “Had the bridge lifted, he would have fallen to his death, surely,” Dangler said.