Teenager who scaled Trump Tower had past problems at home

NEW YORK — 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 New York Police Department identified the climber as 19-year-old Stephen Rogata, of Great Falls, Virginia, though his birth name is Michael Joseph Ryan.

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.

"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.

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, police said.

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.


Nuckols reported from Fairfax, Virginia.


This story has been corrected to show Trump Tower is 58 stories tall, not 68, and to show Michael Ryan was Rogata's birth name, not his legal name.

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