A Las Vegas rock-climber was seen scaling a 600-foot Strip hotel early Tuesday morning. He planned the stunt to protest local and nationwide COVID-19 mandates.
“These new mandates are a threat to our freedoms and a threat to our civil liberties,” Maison Des Champs said in a video he recorded mid-climb. “Fifteen days have slowly turned into 400-something, and now is the time to draw the line.”
Des Champ climbed over 60 floors of the Aria hotel before he was caught by police at the top of the building, according to the Las Vegas Review-Journal. He was arrested for trespassing not amounting to burglary and disorderly conduct. The climber was released soon after the same day.
LVMPD Police Captain for the Las Vegas Strip Dori Koren called the act “extremely dangerous & very illegal.”
Yesterday, our officers faced another unique challenge…this time being an #UrbanClimber ascending 60+ floors. This reckless act is extremely dangerous & very illegal. That’s why our team was ready to rescue & arrest the suspect. 🧗♂️ + 🏙 =👮♂️ + 🔗 + 🚔#LVMPD #Vegas #cops #yikes pic.twitter.com/sXRpm1Nm5n
— Captain Dori Koren (@dorikoren) August 4, 2021
The climb was also intended to promote an upcoming protest, which Des Champs plans to host in front of the Planet Hollywood Casino on Aug. 14.
Des Champs’ passion for fighting the mandates was in part due to his “relationship with mental health,” he wrote on Instagram.
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“Like many other people, the lockdowns caused me to re-examine my mental health,” he said. “I luckily pulled out of it, but unneeded damage was done.”
Matters became worse when his grandfather committed suicide in October.
“I’m not sure if the lockdowns contributed to my grandfather’s death, but I will never get to know,” he said. “Like many others, I have lost a loved one, and like many others, I would like to see life get back to normal.”
“I don’t expect everyone to agree with me,” Des Champs said to the Las Vegas Review-Journal. “COVID is dangerous, and masks aren’t that big of a deal, but it’s what they stand for: a loss of freedom and personal choice.”