NW man killed in high-rise graffiti attempt

NW man killed in high-rise graffiti attempt
Firefighters recover the body of a man who was found hanging by a rope from the edge of a balcony Monday morning April 1, 2013, in Sacramento, Calif. (AP Photo/The Sacramento Bee, Randy Pench)
SACRAMENTO, Calif. -- The Sacramento County coroner has identified the body found hanging from a downtown office tower as a 30-year-old Washington state man.

Craig Fugate, of Vancouver, was found Monday morning hanging from a rope on the side of an 18-story high-rise. Police believe he was trying an extreme graffiti attack because they found spray paint and an etching tool used by taggers on a ledge above him.

The coroner identified the body on Tuesday but lists the cause of death as undetermined because an autopsy has not been performed.

Fire Battalion Chief Marc Bentovoja said Fugate appears to have died accidentally of asphyxiation when he created a harness from the rope and lowered himself. The rope then cinched tightly around his body.

"From everything we can tell, he didn't have any special rope rappelling equipment on, climbing equipment or anything like that," he said. "He appeared to be looped into the rope."

Police spokeswoman Michele Gigante said surveillance cameras showed Fugate entering the building alone on Sunday.

Investigators believe he gained access to the roof of the nearly 240-foot building and lowered himself three floors down to the balcony before lowering himself again.

Police and fire crews responded after receiving a call at 7:44 a.m. Monday. Rescue personnel were seen rappelling down the side of the building to check on the man, but he was already dead. The body was retrieved shortly after 9 a.m.

Formally named the 1201 K Tower, the building houses offices for lobbyists, public relations businesses and law firms that do business two blocks away at the Capitol.