News » Crime & Courts

SpiderDan escapes jailtime, sentenced to probation and community service

by

comment

A man who scaled a luxury residential tower in San Francisco's South of Market neighborhood in September was sentenced Tuesday to probation and community service, and will also have to pay more than $3,500 in restitution.

Dan Goodwin, 55, also known as SpiderDan, used suction cups to climb up the side of the Millennium Tower at 301 Mission St. on Labor Day, Sept. 6. He was arrested after reaching a 59th floor balcony on top of the building about four hours later.

Goodwin was convicted on Jan. 25 in San Francisco Superior Court of being a public nuisance and delaying or obstructing arrest, and faced a maximum sentence of one year in jail and a $1,000 fine.

Judge Teri Jackson today sentenced Goodwin to two years' probation, 100 hours of community service, and various court administrative charges.

Jackson also ordered him to pay restitution to the city's police and fire departments for responding to his climb.

San Francisco fire spokeswoman Lt. Mindy Talmadge said there were no direct costs to the department from the incident except for the time spent by the firefighters who took part in the response.

The cost of all the firefighters on the scene came out to $3,596.09, a number the department provided to the district attorney's office, Talmadge said.

A police spokesman referred questions about that department's costs to the district attorney's office, whose spokespeople were not immediately available for comment this afternoon.

Before Goodwin was sentenced, he said during today's hearing that he climbed the building because he wanted to draw attention to the vulnerability of skyscrapers. Firefighters are unable to effectively fight fires in high-rise buildings, he said.

"We keep building these buildings taller and taller with no plans in place," he said.

Goodwin's attorney, Herman Holland, argued for a minimal sentence and pointed to the unique nature of the case. He called Goodwin "an individual who takes part in an act, not for himself, but for something he believes in."

Prosecutor Michael Maffei countered that this was not a unique case at all.

"People have engaged in protests for a long time," Maffei said. "If you break the law, you have to face the consequence."

Jackson ultimately sided with the prosecution.

"I'm not saying your cause is not admirable, but there are consequences," she said.

She also said it was "a bit of an irony, if the fire department is so under-equipped, that Mr. Goodwin would expend the very valuable and very limited resources that our city has."

Goodwin said outside of court following today's hearing that the judge's decision was "pretty much what I expected," but he said his attorney plans to appeal the sentence on Friday.