“Peter Teatime” is in hot water.
Teatime, the nom de guerre for Wisconsin-based stunt climber Peter Kurer, is being sued by the Golden Gate Bridge district for a recent clamber up the international landmark. Also named as a defendant is Kurer’s alleged confederate, Thomas Rector.
The duo reached the top of the 746-foot north tower in April after climbing up some vertical suspension ropes and then walking up the main cable. They recorded the caper and blasted it out on social media.
“Their path of travel did not trigger any alarms, so the Golden Gate Bridge District’s patrol was not aware of the activity at the time,” the bridge district and the California Highway Patrol announced the following month after discovering the breach.
Last week the bridge district filed a lawsuit in Marin Superior Court alleging trespass, nuisance, unjust enrichment, unfair business practices and unfair competition. The district alleges the climbers used the video to pump up their social media traffic and pursue licensing revenue.
“‘Peter Teatime’ and his associate Rector senselessly put the lives of themselves and others in serious jeopardy to exploit the San Francisco Bay Area’s most iconic landmark for their own publicity, expand their own Internet and social media presence, and achieve fame and, relatedly, monetary profit,” wrote Kimon Manolius, a lawyer for the bridge district.
“In media interviews, Kurer has not only candidly admitted to these crimes, but brags about his stunts, as well as his expertise in circumventing sensors, security cameras, and safety mechanisms,” Manolius wrote.
The lawsuit also seeks an injunction barring the pair from the bridge for purposes other than normal travel, and an injunction prohibiting dissemination and exploitation of video and recordings.
The lawsuit seeks unspecified damages and legal costs.
Kurer, 18, and Rector, who is in his 20s, could not be reached for comment on the lawsuit.
“My mindset is that I do not want to put people at risk, or property. If there was an accident, I don’t want to hurt anyone,” he told the Independent Journal in an interview in May. “As long as we are not hurting anyone, I don’t see anything wrong with it.”
The CHP has requested misdemeanor trespassing charges against both suspects, Officer Andrew Barclay said Thursday. The case was referred to the Marin County District Attorney’s Office for review.
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