‘Pro-Life Spiderman’ Arrested After Scaling Skyscraper in Phoenix

Ryan Morgan
By Ryan Morgan
February 8, 2023US News
‘Pro-Life Spiderman’ Arrested After Scaling Skyscraper in Phoenix
Maison Des Champs, the self-acclaimed “Pro-Life Spiderman,” in a still from video released by NTD. (NTD)

Maison DesChamps, a climber who goes by the social media handle “Pro-Life Spiderman,” was arrested in Phoenix, Arizona, on Tuesday after scaling the former Chase tower.

The 23-year-old DesChamps scaled the 40-story building on Tuesday morning, starting just before 10 a.m. MST and ending about an hour later. Videos taken of DesChamps during the climb showed that he used a stemming technique to ascend a three-foot-wide channel that runs up the 483-foot tower.

DesChamps ascended the building without ropes or protective equipment, in a risky style of climbing known as free soloing.

The Phoenix Police and Fire Departments responded to DesChamps’ climbing stunt on Tuesday. Capt. Todd Keller, a spokesperson for the Phoenix Fire Department, told the Arizona Republic that DesChamps had reached the 15th floor of the building by the time they arrived.

Keller said fire officials prepared to begin rescue operations and were in constant contact with DesChamps throughout his climb, asking him if he was fatigued or needed assistance. After he reached the top, police arrested DesChamps and booked him into jail on charges of trespassing and criminal nuisance.

NTD Photo
Maison Deschamps climbs Chase Tower in Phoenix on Feb. 7, 2023 in a still image taken from social media video. (Jim Wyatt via Reuters)

On his website, DesChamps said he took on the dangerous stunt to raise funds for Let Them Live, a charity that provides financial support for women considering abortions due to financial hardships.

DesChamps said on the website, and reiterated in a video he took during the climb, that he is also raising funds for a pregnant woman named Hope, who has several health problems that she believes would severely limit her ability to care for her baby. DesChamps said because of those concerns, Hope “scheduled a late-term abortion on February 10th.”

DesChamps said he decided to fundraise for the pro-life organization because “the vast majority of moms choose abortion because of the kind of financial and physical challenges that Hope is facing.” He said he hopes the fundraising effort will bring Hope the financial assistance she would need to choose not to abort her child.

Fire Official Condemns Stunt

Keller condemned DesChamps’ activist stunt, saying DesChamps wasn’t the only person endangered by the climb.

“This is so dangerous. You put not only yourself in danger, you put firefighters in danger. You put anyone else walking below or anybody around this incident in danger,” Keller said. “This is an uncontrolled environment. This is Chase Tower; 40 floors up. Very, very dumb.”

DesChamps described his risk assessment on his website, saying that while he wouldn’t encourage people to climb without a rope, buildings are technically easier to climb than rocky cliffsides.

“There are definitely dangers involved,” DesChamps wrote. “However, most skyscrapers are significantly easier to climb than rock. The large rails and positive windows sills are ginormous in comparison to the credit card-sized holds found on rock. As an experienced climber, I see climbing skyscrapers as a safe and creative/effective way to peacefully protest.”

Not His First Arrest

Tuesday’s tower climb was not the first time DesChamps has scaled the side of a building without any safety equipment like ropes, carabiners, or the spring-loaded camming devices professional climbers often use to climb rock crags.

DesChamps climbed the Salesforce Tower in San Francisco, California, in May 2022. He climbed the second-tallest building in California to protest a Washington, D.C., late-term abortion provider who had been accused of allowing babies who had already been born to die. For his efforts to raise awareness about the abortion provider, DesChamps was arrested and charged with trespassing and resisting arrest by not complying when police ordered him to stop climbing.

DesChamps has documented other building climbs he has done, such as ascents of the New York Times building in New York City, and the Aria Hotel in Las Vegas.

“In most states and cities there are no laws against climbing skyscrapers,” DesChamps said on his website. “Usually, I am charged with some form of trespassing or disorderly conduct. However, after further review, my charges are either dropped or easily fought in court.”

The Associated Press contributed to this article.

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