No Art for “Rocky” Rider

Judge sends a message to man seen on cell phone video driving a convertible driving down the iconic Art Museum steps

A Philadelphia judge sent a message to a driver who was caught on camera driving down the iconic "Rocky Steps:"

Stay away!

On Friday, a Philadelphia Municipal Judge arraigned Eman Faki on a reckless endangerment charge then released him on his own recognizance, according to online court records.

The release came with a condition, the 20-year-old defendant, a college student from Turkey, must not go close to the Philadelphia Art Museum while awaiting a hearing next month.

Faki is accused of putting people in danger when he drove down the museum steps. The 72 steps in front of the museum are known as the "Rocky Steps," a name that stuck after Sylvester Stallone climbed them during a training exercise in the Oscar-winning film Rocky. It's a hot spot for tourists who enjoy mimicking Rocky's run.

Cell phone video from people at the Philadelphia Museum of Art shows the BMW convertible with the top down, driving down the steps just after midnight Oct. 25 and then speeding off.

NBC10 obtained video from two different angles, courtesy Twitter user Brittnie Conover and Philly Chit Chat's Hugh E. Dillon who lives near the Art Museum.

Conover said there was an explanation and had this to say to NBC10.

"He was sitting with his friends talking and his car started to roll down the steps so he jumped in and stopped it and couldn't get it down any other way so he had to drive it down. He went backwards so he wouldn't damage the front end too much more."

But on the video, you can hear voices cheering the driver on and laughing, as he made his way down the steps.

Dillon said, judging by the way the driver was acting, he doesn't believe it was an accident.

"There was no doubt that he wanted it recorded," Dillon said.

"If you're car had just rolled down, you would never know to zig-zag unless you really studied how to get down these stairs," he said. "(You) could see his face, he was very happy, very proud of himself."

The maneuver caused $8,000 in damage to the stone steps and prompted Art Museum officials to inspect them.

Art Museum masonry contractor Gary Lorenzon said this wasn't the first incident were someone drove down the steps.

"A lot of people have driven off of it, in different situations," he said. "You know, one guy's drunk, another guy just got lost, another woman couldn't see."

After the video made headlines, Faki turned himself into police. He initially told detectives his brakes were not working. Police towed the BMW into evidence and tested the car to see if the driver's claims of brake issues were true.

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