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Mayor Promises Tougher Security Following Second Brooklyn Bridge Trespassing

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TWC News: Mayor Promises Tougher Security Following Second Brooklyn Bridge Trespassing
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The second incident of very public trespassing on the Brooklyn Bridge in less than a month has Mayor Bill de Blasio again vowing tougher security—with other lawmakers proposing stricter penalties. Many are still asking how one of the most high-profile spots in the world can be so easily infiltrated. NY1's Josh Robin filed the following report.

The view from Zelda Josephs' balcony is both spectacular and familiar.

It's of the skyline, with the Brooklyn Bridge front and center.

"It's my view, it's my extended apartment. I love it! It's my bridge!" Josephs says.

Lately, the view of the bridge has been disturbingly unfamiliar.

First came white flags raised on both towers. Two German artists say they did it, but haven't been arrested.

Then on Sunday, a Russian man takes pictures atop one of the towers. Here's surveillance video.

Police arrested him. Yaroslav Kolchin appeared in Brooklyn Criminal Court Monday on criminal trespassing and other charges. He surrendered his passport. He is still in jail because he couldn't afford five thousand dollars bail.

MayorBill de Blasio is being pressed on how Kolchin managed to climb the bridge, especially so soon after the first incident.

"You can hold me accountable and Commissioner [William] Bratton accountable. We are in the process of making changes in the way we approach the bridges that are our responsibility," de Blasio said.

Last month, after the white flags, the de Blasio administration announced a multi-agency response that would boost the bridge's security. That's apparently still in the works.

"Changes will be made, and as soon as that review is complete, and the changes are ready to be announced, we will announce them," the mayor said.

A city official later added City Hall is looking into more foot patrols, police scooters, more signage, better barriers and sensors.

No deadline was given when the new plan would go into effect.

Brooklyn Borough President Eric Adams says state lawmakers should also pass tougher penalties for trespassers.

"We're still a terror threat, and we don't ever want to be lax around the issue of terrorism," Adams said.

The measure doesn't just stiffen penalties for trespassing on the Brooklyn Bridge; other sensitive landmarks are also included.

City Hall declined to comment on the bill.

As for Zelda Josephs, the whole incident is unsettling.

"It just gives me pause...that—how does this happen? How is this allowed to happen in the world today?" Josephs said.

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