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Home   Canterbury   News   Article

Kent's real Spider-Man: Mystery of man spotted on Canterbury city rooftops

21 March 2014
by Lowri Stafford

A reckless daredevil has been dubbed Kent's Spider-Man after he was seen running across Canterbury city centre rooftops.

The bearded man, who was wearing a red jumper, was seen leaping around and climbing on top of shops and restaurants.

Police were called, but the mystery man was undeterred and was later seen that day scaling more buildings in the city.

The man balancing on the roof of shops in Sun Street in Canterbury

The man balancing on the roof of shops in Sun Street in Canterbury

Debbie Barwick, who runs Revivals clothes shop in St Peter's Street, said a fellow shopkeeper warned her about the trespasser.

She said: "I went outside and glanced up and saw him leaping around and climbing on the roof. At first I was frightened he might jump.

"I think he might have climbed up a drainpipe at Cafe St Pierre next door. Then he walked along past the opticians and jumped off like Spider-Man.

"It may just have been a prankster or someone looking to enter buildings after dark. We looked for him afterwards but he was gone."

Ms Barwick called the police, but officers found no trace of the man. But they would have been powerless to take action against him unless he had caused damage, because trespass is a civil matter.

Debbie Barwick who runs Revivals in Canterbury

Debbie Barwick who runs Revivals in Canterbury

An hour later, he was again seen running across the roofs of buildings in Sun Street.

Diner Mel Lewis clocked him from the balcony of the La Trappiste restaurant and took a picture.

Police spokesman Jane Walker said: "The man was picked up by a Canterbury City Council CCTV camera, but went out of sight and when our officers arrived at 4.20pm he could not be located."

It is not known what the man was doing, but it could have been part of a craze called urban free climbing, where people scale buildings with no safety equipment.

Mrs Walker said: "Clearly it is unsafe to walk around on roofs without proper safety equipment and if damage is caused then it may be a criminal offence."

Andrew Garfield as Spider-Man from The Amazing Spider-Man. Picture PA PhotoSony Pictures

Andrew Garfield as Spider-Man from The Amazing Spider-Man. Picture: PA Photo/Sony Pictures

Police are asking the man in the picture to call them on 101, giving reference number 12-920, to explain why he was on the roof.

It is not being linked to an incident the previous day, when three police cars were called to Burgate after a man was seen on the roof of a shop.

He was later discovered to be a workman "complete with tool belt", according to police.


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