Trump Tower Climber Said to Be Obsessed With Politics Blog | NBC4 Washington
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Trump Tower Climber Said to Be Obsessed With Politics Blog

The 19-year-old man from Virginia wanted a meeting with Trump, according to a police report

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    NEWSLETTERS

    Mayor de Blasio said he’s angry after a Virginia teen spent hours scaling Trump Tower Wednesday, saying that likely mental health issues aside, the climber wasted people’s time. Andrew Siff reports. (Published Thursday, Aug. 11, 2016)

    A Virginia teenager who climbed partway up Trump Tower had a history of problems at home. In 2014 he ran away from home after arguing with his parents about his obsession with a political blog, according to a police report.

    The teen was plucked from the side of Republican presidential nominee Donald Trump's namesake skyscraper on Wednesday after spending three hours climbing up its glass facade using powerful suction cups.

    The NYPD identified the climber as 19-year-old Stephen Rogata, of Great Falls, Virginia, though his birth name is Michael Joseph Ryan.

    "A lot of cops had better things to do than spend their time dealing with this guy," Mayor Bill de Blasio told NBC 4 New York Thursday. 

    Likely mental issues aside, "it's just a waste of people's time," said de Blasio, adding that he was angered by the "ridiculous stunt."

    "If someone wants to meet Donald Trump, go to one of his God-forsaken rallies," he said. 

    According to a police report in Fairfax County, Virginia, the teen's parents reported him missing in November 2014.

    They told police that their son, then 18, became angry when they took away his Internet privileges because he was spending too much time on a "blog on government issues in the United States" and neglecting his schoolwork.

    WATCH: Police Snatch Climber on Trump Tower

    [NATL-NY] WATCH: Police Snatch Climber on Trump Tower
    Watch the dramatic moment when NYPD officers finally grab and bring in the man who climbed Trump Tower for hours Wednesday evening, eluding cops the whole way. Read more here. (Published Wednesday, Aug. 10, 2016)

    "His entire life focus is on that blog," his mother, Gina Ryan, told police, according to the report.

    A day after reporting him missing, the parents told police they had spoken to him and made arrangements to pick him up in Petersburg, Virginia, according to the report. His parents later told police that he had been planning to travel to Miami to live on the streets.

    There was no immediate response to a message left Thursday at his family's home in Virginia, but neighbor A. J. Steger told NBC Washington, "He's a nice young man who's had some troubles with school and things like that in the past year. But up until that point, a model student, a model person." 

    Family friend Carolyn Garofalo said he was over for dinner last week.

    "I thought he was happy," she said. "I'm just as surprised as anybody." 

    Rogata remained hospitalized, undergoing a psychiatric evaluation Thursday, a day after his arrest on charges of reckless endangerment and trespassing.

    Rogata climbed 21 stories up the 58-story skyscraper before officers grabbed him and hauled him to safety through an open window.

    A day before the ascent, police said, the teen posted an online video addressing Trump. He called himself an "independent researcher seeking a private audience with you to discuss an important matter" and said he was willing to risk his life "to get your attention."

    Police were treating the tower climb as a potentially dangerous stunt, saying there was no indication Rogata wanted to hurt anyone.

    The Fifth Avenue tower is headquarters to Trump's presidential campaign and his business empire. Trump also lives there, but was out of state at the time.

    Trump didn't mention the incident during a campaign event in Florida Wednesday, but tweeted later: "Great job today by the NYPD in protecting the people and saving the climber."