High-Rise Chicago Hotel On Alert For Daredevils

Chicago Police arrested two individuals in an upstairs area of the hotel Wednesday

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    This cell phone photo sent to us by a viewer shows two men standing on an ornamental carving protruding from the Intercontinental Hotel’s façade.

    Chicago’s Intercontinental Hotel management is on alert for daredevils trying to break onto the roof after two men were observed walking the ledge there Tuesday, snapping photos and perched precariously close to the edge.

    The incident happened just 14 months after a man fell to his death from a chimney atop the hotel.

    Man Dies After Fall Down Hotel Smokestack

    [CHI] Man Dies After Fall Down Hotel Smokestack
    A man who climbed to the top of the Intercontinental Hotel, apparently to take a photo, fell down a smokestack and later was pronounced dead. The man was identified as 23-year-old Nicholas Wieme. (Published Thursday, Dec. 13, 2012)

    Chicago Police arrested two individuals in an upstairs area of the hotel Wednesday. There was no direct evidence if those were the same two individuals seen on the ledge at the hotel the day before.

    In one of the photos snapped by an observer on his cell phone Tuesday, one of the men appears to be standing on an ornamental carving protruding from the building’s façade, hundreds of feet above Michigan Avenue.

    But even Raymond Vermolen, the general manager of the Intercontinental, said he could not say with certainty that the black-clad figures seen on the ledge of his hotel Tuesday were the same ones arrested on a charge of trespassing the next day. 

    Shane Biggus, 20, of Oak Park and Emmet Kilmer, 20, of River Forest were each charged with one count of misdemeanor trespassing. 

    Why the two individuals who were observed in the photos Tuesday were still able to gain access to an open area of the same hotel where a man died just a year ago isn’t clear.

    Vermolen said the hotel had put security measures on all windows to prevent anyone from gaining access to outside areas.

    “All of the windows have restrictors on them,” he said. “But with the right tools, you could take those off.”
    Otherwise, he said there are no unlocked access doors which would have allowed anyone outside.

    “There’s no other way,” he said, noting all doors are “padlocked and closed.”

    Chicago Police News Affairs says “Biggus and Kilmer were arrested in the 500 block of N. Michigan avenue on February 19, 2014 at approximately 1:15 p.m. Security officers discovered both males in a restricted area of the building, attempting to gain access to the roof.”

    Nicholas Wieme, 23, fell to his death Dec. 13, 2012, after climbing to the top of the smokestack of the Intercontinental. It is believed he was attempting to snap a photo when he fell down that chimney, where he became stuck for several hours. 

    Rescuers had to cut a hole in the smokestack, but he died from his injuries a few hours later.

    It is believed this is the Instagram of one of the individuals who was seen on the hotel ledge Tuesday. In several of the pictures, he is seen in similar settings around Chicago.