Home / Blog / Williamsburg Bridge climber Alejandro De La Torre has scaled 100

Williamsburg Bridge climber Alejandro De La Torre has scaled 100

Dec 13, 2023Dec 13, 2023



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He really loves the high life.

Sixteen-year-old Alejandro De La Torre claims he's been scaling the city's tallest structures for two years without getting caught — until last week — when he was nabbed alongside four pals climbing to the top of the Williamsburg Bridge.

"I just really liked the adrenaline rush — and the fear factor of it," De La Torre told The Post this week in an exclusive interview.

De La Torre was a bored 12-year-old and new to East Elmhurst, Queens when he started exploring abandoned buildings across the city with his friends, he said.

One day in June 2021 he decided to climb to the roof of an empty school near Tompkins Square Park.

He was hooked.

"I was like ‘How much higher can I go?’" he said.

It became a habit. He’d choose as many as three targets a week, and post spine-tingling snaps of his conquests — allegedly over 100 — to Instagram.

"I really liked that feeling that I got being really high up," he said.

The teen quickly mastered how to duck into buildings, and waltz past security like he owned the joint.

Once inside, he’d make his way up the staircases as high as he could go, find either a door or window, climb out, and scale the exterior without any safety equipment.

"You just have to strategize the best way to get up…A lot of the times I’m scaling to get to the highest point because it's not accessible [from the roof]," the teen explained.

His ascents include the top of the 77-story Chrysler Building, the 1,066-foot high Brooklyn Tower, and the 693-foot tall Verrazano Bridge.

"You need to be confident in your physical abilities so you don't over-step something or under-step something, or under-jump," he said, adding that he sometimes jumps from ledges and creates human ladders with fellow climbers as means to get to the top.

Security guards were rarely if ever an issue, he said, adding that it's a breeze to sneak around surveillance cameras.

"I’m really quick with what I do," he noted.

Trekking up buildings "is a lot like rock climbing," according to De La Torre, who prefers his Zara brand boots over specialty shoes.

"They’re pretty stylish" and "durable," he said.

His parents discovered his death-defying hobby when a cousin spotted De La Torre's Instagram posts and spilled the beans in August.

"Obviously my parents didn't want me falling or getting seriously hurt," said De La Torre, who added his mom and dad never approved, but weren't able to stop him.

During his exploits, the Townsend Harris High School junior met "a whole underground community" of like-minded thrill-seeking scalers — some of whom flew to the five boroughs from Canada or Los Angeles to climb with him.

"The amount of times I’ve ran into other people hitting the same building at the same time is a lot," said De La Torre.

The number one rule of the community is to "leave nothing but footprints; take nothing but photos," he revealed.

Respect from other daredevils is gained by pulling off dangerous stunts.

"There's sometimes when I [climb] really crazy things and I’m like, ‘Wow, I just did that. I’m the first 15-year-old, 16-year-old to hit this.’ … So having that bragging right or that experience, that story to tell in the future, is what I’m going for," he said.

The teen claims he's only had one very close call.

"I almost fell lol," De La Torre captioned a Feb. 13 Instagram post, where pictures show half his body hanging off of a red construction crane over Park Avenue.

"The reason why I was terrified is because the thing was shaking — it was windy," he said.

The teen insisted he’d been atop the Williamsburg Bridge more than a dozen times before cops caught on and cuffed him and his friends last week — an arrest which prompted a miffed Mayor Adams to condemn the lawless antics.

"When we continue the pursuit to have this city stay the safest big city in America, we don't need social media to contribute to social disorder," the mayor said during a news conference a day after the March 29 arrests.

De La Torre dismissed Hizzoner's concern.

"It's a victimless crime with no intention to hurt anyone," he said.

In response to Adams’ call for the city to crack down on such dangerous stunts, "I would personally tell [Adams] that that's not happening anytime soon — and that I would love to see him try," De La Torre said.

The fateful ascent up the Williamsburg Bridge was just to grab a shot of the sunset, and went sour only because too many kids joined in, he contended.

"I just thought it was going to be three of us," De La Torre said, "and when I got there, my friend told me that there was actually going to be five of us.

"That's a lot of people, especially when it comes to doing these things in broad daylight."

A sixth climber, who wasn't caught, had scaled a building on the Brooklyn side of the bridge to get snaps of the group, "But we didn't end up getting to take the pictures," lamented De La Torre, who wants to study photography in college.

They’d snuck past a cordoned-off staircase and climbed a ladder to the top of the bridge tower when someone spotted the kids and called cops, who quickly showed up, along with emergency boats and a helicopter.

"We ended up hiding in the hall of the tower because we all just got scared," De La Torre recalled.

After being guided by law enforcement down the bridge, the teens were handcuffed and brought to the 90th precinct, where they were hit with criminal trespass summonses, and their parents were called.

All of the kids will now have to appear in family court, where they face fines of up to $500.

In Brooklyn family court Thursday, De La Torre dodged all fines and, instead, was assigned 90-day probation.

In addition to weekly check-ins with his probation officer, De La Torre must receive counseling twice a week and complete a "make things right assignment," according to the court papers he was given.

The real punishment for De La Torre was spending a night in a Brooklyn jail cell — an experience he called "really psychologically torturing."

"I had to sleep on a wooden bench the whole night because my parents wanted me to learn my lesson. I applaud them for it, honestly, because I definitely learned my lesson," he said.

"I just kept thinking, like, ‘How is this going to affect my record’ and ‘How am I going to apologize to my mom and dad this time’…I just kept telling myself it wasn't worth it to get arrested and have such serious repercussions.

He continued: "I want to promise myself that I’m not doing it again because I don't want to completely mess my life up."

Urban exploits Climbers unite Bridge Bust I’m retiring — I promise!