Williamsburg Bridge Reopened; Three Men Arrested For Climbing Tower
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Police shut down the Williamsburg Bridge for more than two hours Friday morning after three men believed to be drunk climbed into an off-limits area, causing police to close the bridge and block traffic for more than two hours.
According to NYPD investigators, the men had been drinking when one of them suggested they climb the bridge. A jogger crossing the bridge saw the men and alerted police, who arrested the men.
Traffic on the bridge was brought to a standstill around 8:30 a.m. as police quickly shut it down to investigate. Other bridges and tunnels were also searched as a precaution.
The bridge was reopened about 11 a.m.
“Three males who had climbed onto the north tower of the bridge were apprehended by the police officer was assigned to the bridge under Operation Atlas,” said NYPD Dep. Chief Bruce Smolka. “An investigation revealed that they been drinking all night, they are intoxicated, one had been climbing on the bridge in the past, and he brought his friends back to do it one more time.”
The three men are charged with reckless endangerment, and police say other charges could follow.
Mayor Michael Bloomberg said there is no threat and that their actions were not related to terrorism. He said the men "apparently got into someplace they shouldn't,” but said they are in trouble because they disrupted people's lives.
Bloomberg said the police response shows the city is on top of things when it comes to responding to potential terrorist attacks. He also said people shouldn't be going on a bridge, breaking into a place where they shouldn't be and drinking, concluding, "How stupid can you be?"
Police credit some watchful bystanders for spotting the men, and say that Operation Atlas works best when New Yorkers work hand in hand with police.
“That's terrific,” said Chief Smolka. “That's just what we want for everyone - to be alert and vigilant and to report any sign of suspicious activity. I want to commend the jogger and maintenance workers for alerting us to this situation."
"The story here is that in the end we did what we were supposed to do," the mayor added. "Operation Atlas has been implemented, it works, and we're on top of things.”