Authorities looking for suspect who climbed Mackinac Bridge illegally

Alarms on the bridge went off twice in one day in November, but authorities couldn’t catch the suspect
Camera #3 from Bridge View Park in St. Ignace looking south at the Mackinac Bridge....
Camera #3 from Bridge View Park in St. Ignace looking south at the Mackinac Bridge. ( Bridge Authority)
Published: Dec. 2, 2020 at 12:13 PM EST
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MACKINAC CITY, Mich. (WJRT) - Michigan State Police are looking for a trespassing suspect who climbed the Mackinac Bridge recently.

Authorities learned of the stunt after seeing photos posted on social media, which apparently had been taken from atop one of the Mackinac Bridge towers.

“This is not a harmless stunt. It’s inexcusably reckless,” said Mackinac Bridge Authority Executive Secretary Kim Nowack. “This individual risked not only his own life but also the lives of those crossing the bridge beneath him, and would have threatened the safety of emergency personnel and Mackinac Bridge Authority staff had a rescue been needed.”

Michigan State Police Det. Sgt. Gary Demers from the St. Ignace Post said the suspect could face a felony charge of trespassing at a key transportation facility. Police are investigating the incident and working to find the suspect.

“We will use all of our resources to identify and prosecute this individual,” Demers said.

The Mackinac Bridge has alarms on the towers to alert authorities whenever someone attempts to climb.

Investigators say the alarms went off on a morning in early November, but workers initially found no evidence of someone climbing inside. The alarms went off again a few hours later and authorities saw someone leaving the bridge, but police were not able to catch up.

Michigan Department of Transportation Director Paul C. Ajegba said the incident demonstrates the need for a thorough examination of security protocols.

“It is very troubling that someone would put their own life at risk -- not to mention that of others -- just for photos and thrills on our state’s signature bridge,” Ajegba said. “While the Michigan State Police continue their investigation, I have also asked the MDOT employees at the bridge to conduct a thorough review and implement measures to prevent future incursions.”

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