2008-12-26 / Top Stories

Rockaway Native Pleads Guilty To Scaling Building

Clarke Gets One Day Of Community Service
By Howard Schwach

A Bayswater native who scaled the side of the New York Times Building in Manhattan over the summer to publicize the fight against malaria pled guilty this week to one count of reckless endangerment.

When Rey Clarke, Jr. was a teenager, most of his excitement came from sports and from riding along with the Bayswater Civilian Patrol on its nightly circuits around the east end community. Clarke often joined his father and other patrol officers in driving the streets of the community, acting as the eyes and ears of the 101 Precinct cops who rode Sector Charlie, which took in the Bayswater community.

In June, however, Clarke, who is now 32 years old, held national attention for a much more exciting deed - climbing the side of the 52- story New York Times Building in Manhattan.

Clarke, who attended PS 104 in Bayswater and Far Rockaway High School, underwent a psychiatric hearing at Bellevue Hospital after climbing the building. He told doctors, and anybody else who would listen, that he wanted to bring attention to the fight against malaria.

Clarke, who had moved to Brooklyn since his youth in Rockaway, was sentenced to one day of community service and granted a conditional release in Manhattan Supreme Court.

After the 33-year-old Clarke admitted that his actions created a risk to other people, Manhattan Justice Charles Solomon said he would dismiss the case on February 10 if Clarke completes his one day of community service.

Clarke climbed the Times Building on June 5.

The Times has since changed the building's façade to deter would-be climbers.

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