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Preventable? Man climbs Utica sign for 2nd time in a month, posts video from top

The man who climbed the massive Utica sign on the canal trail Tuesday made a video from the top and posted it to Facebook.

Posted: Aug 28, 2019 5:55 PM
Updated: Aug 28, 2019 6:05 PM

UTICA - The man who climbed the massive Utica sign on the canal trail Tuesday made a video from the top and posted it to Facebook.

"I can see people riding bikes and walking past. But no one ever notices me. I could care less about attention," says the man in the video, who is not being identified by police.

He also says it's his second climb to the top of the tower.

"The second time, he came prepared with water, he came prepared to be there for a while," said Utica Mayor Robert Palmieri.

The man also prepared ready to brave the strong winds, wearing a hat, hood and jacket. At times, he appears to be saying goodbye.

"I want my family to know that I love them."

The mayor says it's not the city's land and not their sign. "The land is New York State Canal Corporation," says the Mayor.

The sign is the creation of civic-minded businessman, Frank Giotto, of Fiber Instrument Sales.

The man remained at the top of the tower for 11 hours Tuesday afternoon into Wednesday morning. Utica Police crisis negotiators tried to talk him down. The Utica Fire Department was at the scene. Syracuse firefighters, trained in high-rise rescue, were there as well. The man came down around 1:00 am Wednesday and was sent to a local hospital for psychiatric evaluation.

There is security around the sign. While it's not his land and not his sign, the Mayor doesn't know what more could be done to prevent such climbs in the future.

"It's roughly ten feet, with barbed wire. As far as somebody getting into it, it's very difficult, but if someone has made up their mind, there's no way to secure it as much as possible."

We have a call in to Giotto. A spokesperson with the Canal Corporation said they'd look into it and get back to us. Utica Police are investigating.

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