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Police Catch Trump Tower Climber Who Scaled Building Using Suction Cups

By  Kathleen Culliton Ben Fractenberg Murray Weiss and Radhika Marya | August 10, 2016 4:33pm | Updated on August 11, 2016 7:59am

 Police caught the man who used suction cups to climb the side of Trump Tower on Wednesday, Aug. 10.
Police caught the man who used suction cups to climb the side of Trump Tower on Wednesday, Aug. 10.
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DNAinfo/Ben Fractenberg

MIDTOWN — After a nearly three-hour ordeal, police caught a man who used suction cups to climb up as far as the 21st floor of the Trump Tower on Wednesday.

Stephen Rogata, 19, of Great Falls, Virginia, was identified as the climber by police sources.

Officials believe he's the same Donald Trump supporter identifying himself as the Trump Tower climber in a YouTube video, the NYPD said. He intended to meet with the presidential candidate and had traveled from Virginia and got himself a hotel room Tuesday night, police said.

Police rushed to 575 Fifth Ave. at around 3:40 p.m. in response to the incident outside of Trump Tower, shutting down the block around the building, the NYPD said. Officials — who were also seen using drills on the building vents — tried to lower a safety harness to take the climber off the tower, but police said he would not cooperate.

Emergency officials worked to isolate the climber, eventually lowering a scaffold to his left and opening up the glass above him before getting close enough to grab him.

"I reached out and I took hold of his hand and said, 'Sir, you have to come with me,'" said NYPD Officer Christopher Williams, who was one of the officers who pulled the climber in from the 21st floor.

Rogata was brought out on a stretcher after he was apprehended. Police said he was dehydrated and they were taking him to Bellevue Hospital for a psychiatric evaluation.

Rogata's backpack contained a bottle of Gatorade, according to sources. He did not appear to be threatening.

A man climbed the side of Trump Tower on Wednesday afternoon. (DNAinfo/Ben Fractenberg)


Police and emergency responders tried talking to the man who climbed the side of Trump Tower on Wednesday. (DNAinfo/Ben Fractenberg)

A Trump Organization executive issued a statement as reported by ABC News.

"This man performed a ridiculous and dangerous stunt. There's damage to the building and he caused the unnecessary deployment of New York's finest to protect his safety and the safety of everyone in the building," said Trump Organization Executive Vice President Michael Cohen, according to ABC.

"I'm 100 percent certain the NYPD had better things to do," he added in the statement.