Trump Tower climber grabbed by police after scaling 21 floors


            	Man climbs up Trump Tower in New York

A man who wanted an "audience" with Donald Trump spent three hours scaling the glass facade of Trump Tower on Wednesday using large suction cups, climbing as high as the 21st floor before police grabbed him and hauled him to safety through an open window.

The climber, identified by police as a 20-year-old Virginia man, wore a backpack and used a harness and rope stirrups to fasten himself to the side of the 68-floor Manhattan skyscraper.

For a long time, the climber played a slow-motion cat-and-mouse game with would-be rescuers. Officers smashed windows and broke through ventilation ducts to block his progress. Police also lowered themselves toward him using a window washer's platform.

The man kept his distance by methodically working his way back and forth across the facade, repeatedly repositioning suction cups resembling those used by window fitters to remove big panes of glass.

The chase ended dramatically just after 6.30pm local time.

The climber
(Julie Jacobson/AP/PA)

As a crowd gasped on the street below, two officers leaned out of a window, grabbed the climber's arm and harness, and quickly yanked him from his dangling stirrups. He went through the opening head first, his legs pointed skywards.

Police had deployed large inflated crash pads at the scene but it was unclear how much protection they would have offered if the climber fell.

Police said the man was taken to hospital to be evaluated.

The tower is headquarters to Donald Trump's Republican presidential campaign and his business empire. Trump also lives there, though he was in Virginia in the afternoon and was heading to Florida for an evening event.