The New York Police Department says a college student who perched on a Brooklyn Bridge side railing while taking a selfie was acting in an "irresponsible" and "illegal" manner.

David Karnauch of Chattanooga, Tennessee, tells CBS New York that nobody tried to stop him last weekend. He says he had no clue the climb was forbidden.

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NYPD Deputy Commissioner John Miller says the incident did not constitute a security breach. But Miller says Karnauch would have been arrested if officers had arrived while he was still there.

Last August, a Russian tourist was arrested for allegedly scaling the bridge to take photos.

Last July, American flags on the bridge's towers were replaced with whitewashed versions. Two German artists claimed responsibility.