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Arrest report: Sphere climber causes more than $100,000 in damage

Man climbs Las Vegas Sphere
Posted at 4:06 PM, Feb 09, 2024
and last updated 2024-02-09 18:09:41-05

LAS VEGAS (KTNV) — The man who climbed Sphere earlier this week as part of a publicity stunt caused over $100,000 in damage to the venue, according to Las Vegas police.

An arrest report states a Sphere engineer was inside the building when he saw Maison Des Champs climbing the Exosphere. He asked Des Champs how he was doing and Des Champs said he was okay. The engineer continued tracking him on his climb up and Des Champs told him he planned on climbing back down the way he came. The engineer said he notified his supervisors and police who decided to meet Des Champs at the top of the Sphere.

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In the arrest report, police said there was a "security concern" about allowing Des Champs to climb down and if they didn't bring him down from the top of the venue, they would have to perform a helicopter rescue. Police asked the engineer to go to the top of the venue and remove light tracks called carriers to bring Des Champs inside the Sphere to safety, which he did.

Matthew German, the Sphere Vice President of Security and Threat Management, told police the Sphere is not meant to be touched by individuals, let alone have someone climb the exterior. The report states there are also concerned that since the climb was live-streamed, intellectual property from the venue may have been leaked to the public.

According to Sphere, there are 58 million lights on the Sphere and 1.2 million pucks, which each hold 48 lights on it. The lights are on a track called carriers, which are made of aluminum and are not rated to hold a person's body weight. Since the parts are so delicate, the report states Sphere officials do repair work from inside the venue and not from the Exosphere.

Sphere officials said that due to the large number of lights, it will take time to fully assess the real damage from the stunt. However, they anticipate it will be more than $100,000.

Des Champs is facing charges, including destroying property greater than $5,000 and conspiracy to destroy private property.

Locals may remember that, in August 2021, he climbed the outside of the Aria hotel-casino to protest Nevada's COVID-19 health orders.

In May 2022, he was arrested for scaling the 51-story Salesforce tower in downtown San Francisco.

According to the arrest report, Des Champs allegedly told police that he had previously been arrested for climbing, he has never been convicted, and "his attorneys will get him off this incident as well".

Group behind Sphere stunt

Three others were arrested in connection with the publicity stunt and appeared in a Las Vegas courtroom on Thursday. A Las Vegas judge ruled that all three can be released on their own recognizance, must stay out of the Strip corridor, and have no contact with Des Champs while the case is pending.

The next court date for all four is scheduled for Feb. 12 at 8:30 a.m.