OKLAHOMA CITY (KFOR) – A pro-life supporter from Las Vegas climbed nearly 800 feet to the top of Oklahoma City’s Devon Tower Tuesday morning.
Maison Des Champs, also known as ‘Pro-life Spiderman’ began his climb at 8 a.m. to raise awareness for unborn rights.
His drone videographer, David Velasquez, told KFOR he got a “random request” on social media from Des Champs for videography, but was not told for what.
“That was crazy. That’s what I was thinking the whole time in the back of the police car. I’m like, ‘You know, I offered to shoot something cool for this guy that seems super cool and, you know, he just got me like, in trouble,'” said David.
When Des Champs began the climb, Velasquez said he would have never thought the request would be to shoot him climbing up a 50-story building.
After some social media digging, though, Velasquez has videographed for Des Champs before as a part of his work with The Video Ninja. He posted to his social media video footage of his climb in San Francisco in early May.
A 911 call was made to Oklahoma City Police just after 8:40 a.m. where they were told there was a “subject climbing up the side of the building.”
David has been questioned by the police but sticks with his original statement of not knowing anything until it was happening. He did say, though, he is allowed to keep the footage from the climb.
According to Capt. Valerie Littlejohn, of the Oklahoma City Police Department, officers arrived on scene minutes later to begin setting up safety measures.
“It’s really hard to do given the height of the building, obviously with the ladders and other things that maybe the fire department can’t put into play because of the height of the building. So just having the street shut down, trying to have people in place to take him and make sure he’s okay and get him off safely from the building when he reaches a point where we can do that,” added Littlejohn.
Firefighters were not able to extend a ladder either as it would have only reached 100 feet, and by the time they arrived, Des Champs had already reached the tenth story.
After an hour and a half of anticipation and guidance from the fire department, Des Champs was safely assisted from the railing of the northwest side of the tower by firefighters.
“We set up a unified command system with the police department, working closely with them. We did put guys on the roof, we had guys on the floor trying to communicate with him as he was climbing, trying to tell him the safest route and the safest possible way to go,” said OKC Fire Department Capt. Scott Douglas.
As Des Champs was pulled from the ledge, he was met with handcuffs by OKC officers.
Des Champs was arrested just before 10 a.m. and initially charged with disorderly conduct and trespassing.
Des Champs was taken to the Oklahoma County Detention Center where he waited nearly eight hours for his processing to be finalized.
According to Captain Littlejohn, the disorderly conduct charge was later dropped, and Des Champs was only charged with trespassing. His bond was set at $500.
Once released, Des Champs shared with KFOR that he scaled the tower to give a voice to unborn children.
“I climbed it to raise money for a charity called Let Them Live. We’ve adopted a mom named Riley. And so, what Let Them Live is going to do is they’re going to try to pay for housing or health care and then help her get a job so that she doesn’t have to get an abortion,” said Des Champs.
The goal with each climb is to not only raise awareness but to raise money in support of pro-life. He has raised $9,000, thus far, but the goal is $1,000,000.
Des Champs has pulled this stunt before as he has climbed tall buildings before in San Francisco, New York, Detroit, and Las Vegas.
Before climbing, he familiarizes himself with the building by researching each one on Google Maps. “I just look to see if I can stick my hands around. I look for where, like, where the light passes through the holes, and that means I can get my hands around it.”
When asked if he felt as if his climb was a “waste of city resources,” he said, “It’s a growing movement. But, you know, I could help them come up with a plan that would be better, I guess, save resources.”
Des Champs was released from county jail at 5 p.m. the same day.
Velasquez was questioned by police, but not arrested.
Des Champs may be seen climbing again, but for now, he said his lawyer recommends he not disclose information about when or where.