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Teen Who Scaled Trump Tower In Manhattan Faces Criminal Charges

Stephen Rogata of Virginia, who climbed nearly 21 stories of the 68-story building using suction cups, was charged with trespassing and reckless endangerment.

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A 19-year-old man, who used suction cups to scale Trump Tower in Midtown Manhattan on Wednesday, was arrested and charged with criminal trespass and reckless endangerment, the New York Police Department said Thursday.

NYPD officers removed the windows above Rogata on the 21st floor of the 68-story building and snatched him out of the air, hours after he began climbing the building.

Here's the NYPD grabbing Trump Tower Spider-Man


At a news conference after the incident, police officials said the climber was a 20-year-old man from Virginia who traveled to New York City Tuesday and stayed in a hotel overnight.

Police said on Wednesday that he "previously went by one name and now he goes by another name."

Officials said they worked to prevent the man's progress up the building by removing window panes. That eventually limited him to ascending a single, narrow piece of glass — which, police said, could have cracked under his weight.

As the man climbed onto that piece of glass, New York Police Detective Williams grabbed him and pulled him into the building.

"I reached out and took hold of his hand and said, 'Sir, you need to come with me,'" Williams told reporters Wednesday evening.

Once the man was inside the building, he surrendered peacefully and was arrested, Williams said. Police then took the man to a hospital for a psychological evaluation.

A day earlier, the climber posted a video to YouTube titled "Message to Mr. Trump (why I climbed your tower)."

View this video on YouTube

Police confirmed that the climber was responsible for the video. In it, he describes himself as an "independent researcher seeking a private audience with you to discuss an important matter. I guarantee that it is in your interest to honor this request."

"Believe me, if my purpose was not significant I would not risk my life pursuing it," the man adds.

The video concludes with the man telling people "to get out and vote for Mr. Trump in the 2016 election."

Late Wednesday, Trump tweeted about the incident, thanking police for "protecting the people and saving the climber."

Great job today by the NYPD in protecting the people and saving the the climber.


Police also laid a towel over the broken glass to prevent officers from being injured.

They've put a towel on the broken window so negotiators don't get cut

A large inflatable mat was deployed by police to cushion the man if he fell.

Here is the blow up mat they have out for him

Police also lowered themselves toward the man in a window-washing unit.

Here are police, the broken window, and the climber.


Here's a better look at the suction cups:

U/D Manhattan: 5th Ave & east 56, Man with backpack Climbing up the Trump Tower - NYPD on scene. @NYPDSpecialops

Rey Clarke, a man who once climbed the New York Times building in Manhattan, told BuzzFeed News the climber "knows what he's doing."

"He's graceful, knows what he's doing. I admire him. He's calm. I'm glad I did something like this already," said Clarke. "He's been climbing for a couple of hours now and the amount of work is obviously exhausting but you get into a supernatural zone."

Here's the moment he was brought in, as seen from the ground:

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Ema O'Connor is a politics reporter for BuzzFeed News and is based in Washington, DC.

Contact Ema O'Connor at

David Mack is a reporter and weekend editor for BuzzFeed News in New York.

Contact David Mack at

Jim Dalrymple is a reporter for BuzzFeed News and is based in Los Angeles.

Contact Jim Dalrymple II at

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