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Chicago man pleads guilty to trespassing — on Mount Rushmore

FILE - This April 22 2008 file phoshows Mount Rushmore National Memorial Black Hills South Dakota. Patrick Marshall 53 whose

FILE - This April 22, 2008, file photo shows the Mount Rushmore National Memorial in the Black Hills of South Dakota. Patrick Marshall, 53, whose last known address is in Chicago, was arrested Monday, May 21 as he clambered on loose rock directly below the carvings of four presidents at the monument in western South Dakota. Assistant U.S. Attorney Mark Salter says Marshall pleaded guilty to federal charges of trespass and failing to obey a lawful order on Tuesday, May 22 in Pierre, S.D. Mount Rushmore spokeswoman Maureen McGee-Ballinger says visitors and the sculpture were never in any danger. (AP Photo/Mike Stewart)

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Updated: July 2, 2012 9:35AM



A Chicago man caught trying to climb Mount Rushmore National Memorial has pleaded guilty to charges of trespass and failing to obey a lawful order.

Patrick Marshall, 53, was arrested by park rangers Monday afternoon as he clambered on loose rock directly below the carvings of four presidents at the monument in western South Dakota.

Assistant U.S. Attorney Mark Salter says 53-year-old Marshall pleaded guilty to the charges Tuesday. A federal magistrate in Pierre, S.D., fined Marshall $500 and ordered him to pay $50 in court costs, Salter said.

“At no time during the incident was the sculpture or the visitors at Mount Rushmore National Memorial in any danger,” Mount Rushmore spokeswoman Maureen McGee-Ballinger said.

McGee-Ballinger said she had no information on why Marshall wanted to climb the mountain, but she said such incidents occur several times a year.

“People are drawn for unknown reasons to disregard the regulations and climb up the sculpture,” she said.

About 3 million people a year visit the memorial, which features the images of George Washington, Thomas Jefferson, Abraham Lincoln and Theodore Roosevelt carved into a mountain in the Black Hills.

McGee-Ballinger declined to comment on whether security upgrades put in place a few years ago helped detect the man.

A small group of Greenpeace members climbed the back of the sculpture and unfurled a protest banner over the front near Lincoln’s face on July 8, 2009. After that, the National Park Service improved security at the memorial. Park Service officials said some security cameras and sensors were shut off or not working properly when the Greenpeace breach occurred.



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