Vitaly Raskalov, Russian Skywalker, Taken Into Custody [Video]

Vitaly Raskalov, a 19-year-old photographer, and two of his friends were taken into custody earlier this month after being caught “skywalking.”

Three Russian teenagers were taken to a police station for questioning on May 3 after being spotted at the bottom of the Russky Island Bridge, a structure of about 1,000 feet high.

According to Russian media, the police were tipped off when the youngsters uploaded photos from a skywalking session in which Raskalov scaled the the 240-meter-high (787-foot) pylons of the Zoltoy Rog Bridge, and shared his plans to scale the Russky Island Bridge the following day.

“The weather isn’t very good. The temperature is 4-5 degrees,” Raskalov took to his social network account. “Tomorrow at dawn the bridge over Russky Island. Height: 320 meters.”

On Wednesday, the teenager and his friends scaled Russky Island Bridge, which crosses the Eastern Bosphorus Strait to connect the mainland with Russky Island, site of the APEC summit that Russia will host in September.

“On the top,” Raskalov tweeted from the peak of the bridge. “I climbed with a crane. There is no place higher to go.”

Unfortunately for the youngsters, police and Federal Security Service officials were already waiting for them when they came down the bridge, which will be the world’s longest cable-stayed bridge when it opens.

Raskalov said the authorities questioned him and his friends for three hours before letting them go. “We carried out a preventive conversation with them,” a police spokesman said, adding that the trio’s actions were illegal and an investigation had been opened.

As The Huffington Post reports, soon after that a video was uploaded to YouTube showing Raskalov and his friend climbing the bridge without any safety equipment, taking pictures and mugging for the camera along the way.

The video was uploaded to a YouTube account with the user ID “raskalovit.” It was also posted on Thursday to Raskalov’s page on VK.com, a Russian social networking site.

As Gizmodo‘s Michael Hession points out, the link on the YouTube page points to the Chupa-Chups website, which leads to speculation that the stunt could be sponsored by the lollipop company. However, the Chupa-Chups company remains unreachable for comments.

The Moscow Times reports, that the Vladivostok bridge climbers were fined 300 rubles each. In addition to this, the trio was subjected to a “preventive discussion about the inadmissibility of breaking current law,” a Primorye region police spokesman said, RIA-Novosti reported.

“We carried out a preventive conversation with them,” a police spokesman said, adding that the trio’s actions were illegal and an investigation had been opened.

By the way, this incident is not the first time that thrill-seekers have targeted the bridges. Last May, two basejumpers from Moscow illegally entered the construction site of the Zolotoy Rog Bridge and, in full sight of the workers, climbed 150 meters and jumped, local media reported. Prosecutors subsequently ordered the builders to beef up security at the site.

Raskalov, meanwhile, seemed to have no regrets about his bridge stunts. “Freedom,” he tweeted after his release. “Now we will enjoy the local beer Amur.”

As Know Your Meme explains, “Skywalking,” which consists of scaling structures without any safety equipment and then uploading the pictures to social media sites, appeared in Russia and has gained popularity over the last year.

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