Russian Tourist in Serious Trouble for Climbing the Brooklyn Bridge to Take Photos ‘For Fun’


A screenshot of surveillance footage the captured Kolchin’s antics.

Rooftopping — taking photos from the top of tall structures, often illegally trespassing to get there — is a favorite pastime of many daredevil photographers, but it’s also dangerous and could land you in a whole heap of trouble, as one Russian tourist is quickly finding out.

Yaroslav Kolchin, 24, has been charged with reckless endangerment, trespassing and disorderly conduct after police spotted him climbing a cable of the Brooklyn Bridge yesterday to capture photographs ‘for fun.’

After being spotted by locals and law enforcement, Kolchin was promptly arrested upon his descent from the top. The prosecutors in the case are claiming his antics and the resulting arrest require a “high allocation of resources” and endangered the lives of pedestrians below him.

Kolchin’s actions are being treated especially carefully considering this is the second time in the past month the Brooklyn Bridge’s security has been breached — the first having happened July 22nd when two American flags were replaced with white flags, a stunt two German artists are taking credit for.

The dare-devil’s arraignment was today, where his bail was set at $5,000 and his passport was confiscated by prosecutors. It is believed Kolchin will not make bail, effectively securing himself a spot in the local holding facility.

His attorneys have thus far refused to comment on the matter.

(via Yahoo! News)

Image credits: Surveillance images via NYPD DCPI

  • mthouston


  • Kyle Clements

    So, activities that are extremely common in Russia are met with imprisonment in America.

    Strange world…

  • Tony

    Yeah, I’m with you. Freedom is baaad….

  • Sam L

    This is no different from chewing gum being a commodity in many places in the world but is ban in Singapore. Different country, different rules

  • PhotoShark

    I want to see the photos he took! If he did take any.

  • OtterMatt

    Yeah, of all the places to come to America and try this out, New York probably wasn’t the smartest choice. They kinda have a thing about landmarks these days…

  • mthouston

    What does trespassing have to do with freedom?

  • OtterMatt

    It’s against the law to purchase paint thinner with the intent of huffing it, too. You should totally do that. That’ll show the man that he can’t boss us around.

  • OtterMatt

    The charges were false, by the way. He was actually arrested on two counts of possession of bro-shorts and felony douche-hat. He is currently held at the New York County Bro-tainment Facility.

  • Renato Murakami

    You go to a foreign country doing illegal s**t don’t complain when you have to pay the piper.

  • howitzerr

    like invading countries

    oh wait

  • David Liang

    When in Rome. End of story.

  • mthouston


  • Jim Johnson

    I don’t know if I would say “good”, but he definitely did something stupid and is paying the price for it.

  • csmif


  • arkhunter

    I’m just waiting till one of these adrenaline junkies falls. (probably not off the Brooklyn bridge though as it is an “easy” climb.) It has to happens sooner or later if it hasn’t already.

  • Burnin Biomass
  • Ralph Hightower

    Rooftoppers are candidates for the Darwin Awards.

  • Aaron J. Heiner

    Climbing cable suspension bridges is an extremely common in Russia!?

  • Aaron J. Heiner

    It’s not exactly banned in Singapore, but you do have to show ID when you purchase gum, and even then it can only be bought at a Chemist (Pharmacy)

  • Jason Yuen

    Murder is extremely common in Sierra Leone but met with imprisonment in Russia. Strange world…

  • Werchange

    Lot of Conformity Rules in these posts.
    Where are all the thrill seekers, the “extreme” folks, the thumb your nose at authority, the devil may care kinda guys? What? It only counts if it’s bungee, or a bicycle or motocross bike on a razorback ridge, or snowboarding, or rock climbing, or base jumping or any other socially acceptable stunt?
    What kind of thrill seeker are you if you follow the rules? (hahaha-one in jail?)
    I for one applaud him-and am just a bit envious of that sort of free spirit.

  • arkhunter

    Well, there you go.

  • Spray and Pray

    It’s NYC, of course the cops deleted it already.

  • Khürt L. Williams


  • Khürt L. Williams

    Would you still celebrate his freedom had he fallen, died and as result the bridge was shut down until the investigation was finished? Do you have any idea what shutting down a bridge in New York means?

  • Rob

    I would only applaud people who risk their life for a substantial cause, people like astronauts, firemen etc and people who dedicate enough effort to make it safe for them and achieve their goals, like mountaineers, professional photographers etc.

    People who endanger their life so that they can boast about their “unique” photos on instagram. Nope. no empathy given.

  • PhotoJoe55

    I wonder how much this stupid stunt cost New York City, and now the Court system too. If they send him the bills for his little adventure, he’d be paying for it for several years. I doubt he would ever do something so stupid again.

  • Kyle Clements

    When you get arrested for walking on a bridge, you are in a police state. Endangering the lives of people below him my ass. At the absolute worst, he should be slapped with a fine for trespassing and told not to do it again.

  • Genkakuzai

    I love how it’s somehow worse because he took the photos “for fun”. Last time I checked the vast majority of photos are taken “for fun”.

  • PhotoJoe55

    Who knows if he was carrying a bomb, maybe In his shoes. They should have shot him from the copter, at a spot where he would have landed in the water, just in case! That walkway on the cables of the bridge, is for Bridge Employees ONLY! After that, they could bill his estate, or his family, to pay for the expenses that he caused.

  • 1000nunsandorphans

    So if 165 lbs of meat fall on you from a great height, you are willing to forgo any litigation? If you are alive that is. Come on, think. The public should be able to expect a reasonable amount of safety. If this guy trespasses and makes a wrong move, the city will be sued for millions. Therefore, the city has the right to set parameters. This is one of those parameters. Again, think!

  • 1000nunsandorphans

    Then how is that not good?

  • 1000nunsandorphans

    And when he slips and falls on your wife and children that didn’t even know he was up there, killing them? Freedom. Yay. Freedom comes with responsibility Tony.

  • HerX

    How do you trespass a public utility?

  • krod

    You are conflating the idea that if something – in this case, climbing a bridge or a tower, or what have you, is done in Russia, its necessarily permitted or legal in Russia where its necessarily illegal here. Based on what my Russian co-worker says, such acts in Russia are definitely illegal (at least on the books anyway) but those laws are rarely enforced for a number of reasons. This fosters a culture (especially among but not limited to Russian teens) where this kind of behavior will have zero repercussions.

    Looks like Mr. Kolchin forgot which country he was in…

  • Jason

    He shouldn’t have done it, and he seems to be getting what he deserves. Also, I’m usually pretty good, but honestly you have me stumped – is a rant or a bit of sarcasm?

  • OtterMatt

    Very easily, as it turns out. Try walking around your city’s water treatment plant. Just because the city owns it doesn’t mean it’s yours.

  • Werchange

    Yeah-right. It would have made his stunt just that much better if he’d had a cause, wouldn’t it?
    Conformists should stick to the middle of the road, stay away from the edge. Take potshots at those that dare from the safety of your keyboard. So-yeah I applaud him.
    Tell me you haven’t looked at shots of that bridge and wondered-how cool would it be to walk up that suspension-just to see what the view is from up there?
    LOL-the city is missing a chance to make some money here. Tour guides taking groups up to the top-charging them outrageous sums for the privelege?
    You may have the last word.

  • PhotoJoe55

    Jason, In light of recent events, do you think this was a wise decision? What if he was a Suicide Bomber, look at how many innocent people would be effected. Look at it from an innocent victim’s point of view. What if your wife and children were on that Bridge at the time? And… What about the traffic jam that it caused, for thousands of people? Maybe a Dr called in for an emergency surgery, couldn’t get there because of this idiot? Ever think of these things? Stupid actions have serious ramifications! What is it, that you don’t get? Are you a Tax Payer? Do you know how much this stunt will end up costing? I don’t think his family or his country are too happy about this either. Would you go to Russia, and do something like this? In case you don’t realize this, the cost will be calculated in the millions, not in the thousands. I think it would have ended better, if he slipped and fell into the water! Btw, there is no “getting what he deserves” because too many people are involved. Many thousands of people’s plans were changed. Due to a tourist? Was this his vacation? Jason, nothing personal, but I don’t think you really get it. Maybe you are young, maybe you are lucky, but I hope you are never effected by the actions of an idiot like this. I wouldn’t wish it on anyone. People deserve better! If it was for Pictures, images taken from an iPhone, would be worthless at that distance, and second, there are Boats and Helicopters that take people out on “Photo Shoots” for a fee. They are licensed to do this, and they are not really that expensive, but most people bring an actual camera, not an iPhone. It’s a Cellular Phone with a small image sensor, it is for convenience, not quality images. It would never cut through the haze up there anyhow. He is no Photographer, he’s an idiot, and he will never know how much harm he has caused.

  • Jason

    I’m not young, and I’ve not been in a position recently where terrorism has affected my day, well, not recently anyway, the London bombings being some time ago.

    You have no idea what I get and don’t get because I didn’t give you my position. I am, though, impressed with the amount you have managed to infer out of a simple question.

    I guess I have my answer.

  • Rob

    If the tour guides provide reasonable amount of safety precautions, why not?

    Do you know the amount of preparation and safety precautions stuntmen, extreme sportsmen, climbers do to ensure that they don’t die carelessly, not to mentioned the training and experience? You are belittling these people and their efforts by comparing them to Rooftoppers

  • HerX

    But water treatment IS a restricted area and is secured and labeled accordingly. Apples and oranges.

  • Rob-L

    The Brooklyn Bridge is not a public utility. It’s privately owned. By me, in fact. I bought the deed to it from a man that was down-and-out the last time I visited NYC.

  • Werchange

    LOL-broke my “last word” with ya Rob.
    Are you even a guy with a POS, a go pro, a photographer of some level self-claimed or otherwise?
    Since you like those Xtreme folks so much-ask some of them-they’ll tell you no amount of gear will protect you from complacency due to over confidence. One pencil whipped safety check can spoil your day. Once they get the formula correct-it becomes another day at the office racking up numbers-albeit in most cases spectacular places. So-support ‘em, help ‘em with their safety checks.
    If I’m belittling anyone -it’s those of you that fall in line, toe the line, seem to have joined the “do what the man says” middle of the road folks. You’re now the Establishment. Stay safe in your rut of complacency-never venture near the edge of that rut-you might discover a new way of doing thing-like shooting more interesting creative shots. Conformity kills creativity.
    Roof toppers are a whole ‘nother breed of cat. Your attempts at minimizing them from your comfy chair, or safety of the gear you wear and the rules you follow-will only leave you green with envy. That’s all the difference between Roof toppers and the rest of us too caught up in the rules of every day life. WE look at at all building and think-wonder what it’s like up there? How do I get the permission? What gear do I need? Roof toppers just get on with it and bring back astounding vertigo inducing shots. That, my friend, is one of the important elements of a good picture-you know that otherwise you wouldn’t have picked up a camera. The image moves you physically, you jerk back from it, or causes an emotional reaction- love it-leave it, makes you want to know more about what’s going on-you get the point, right?
    So, yeah I applaud the Roof toppers of the world. Job well done and I can’t wait to see more of their work! they remind me a lot of what we used to do in this country-we’d push boundaries-just do stuff. Now…?
    Rob-good luck with your shooting.
    Now-before some clever arm chair type declares this TL:DNR This is my last word no matter if you go ape $hit ad hominem.

  • ajfudge

    Freedom has to be regulated because: 1) it is often abused; 2) people are stupid.

    Why does some people’s automatic reaction to authority antagonistic? (And I’m stupid for asking it on the internet)