UPDATE: Thursday, Aug. 11, 4:37 p.m.: The actual identity of the teenager who climbed Trump Tower has been revealed as 19-year-old Michael Joseph Ryan from Virginia. He had fake IDs in his possession which stated his name was Stephen Rogata, according to the Daily News. His family was overseas on vacation when Ryan left for New York City to perform his stunt.
The man who scaled Trump Tower appears to have posted a bizarre video to YouTube the day before the stunt.
In the video titled “Message to Mr. Trump (why I climbed your tower),” the man is dressed in a hoodie and looks away from the camera. He speaks in a monotone voice and explains that he climbed Trump Tower to get the Republican presidential nominee’s attention.
“Hello Mr. Trump. Excuse my matter of appearance, I just don’t know how many people will watch this and I’d rather not be recognizable. I’m an independent researcher seeking a private audience with you to discuss an important matter,” he said.
“I guarantee that it is in your interest to honor this request. Believe me my purpose was not significant I would not risk my life pursuing it. The reason I climbed your tower was to get your attention.”
Trump wasn’t in his glass tower on Wednesday, but the stunt certainly got the attention of the American public. Hundreds of thousands of people were glued to Facebook Live streams for hours as the man from the video scaled to the 21st floor using suction cups.
After being dragged into a window of Trump Tower by police officers, the guy reportedly identified himself to police as “Steve from Virginia” or “Stephen Rogata from Virginia.” According to U.S. public records, no such person exists.
The police have not yet released the details of the climber, or confirmed the YouTube video is from the same man, but there is little denying they are the same person. In the video, “Steve” assured Trump that he will have an email awaiting him so perhaps we will know more in the coming days.
“I’ll get my contact information to your campaign so that if you are interested you can respond,” he said. “As for anyone else who’s watching, please help make this video go viral so that it gets to Mr. Trump and be sure to get out and vote for Mr. Trump in the 2016 election.”
The YouTube video was posted under the username Leven Thumps, which is the name of a five-part fantasy book series by author Obert Sky. The series is about a 14-year-old boy, Leven, living in a battle between two worlds: the real world and the dream world, which he is attempting to save.
The video is the only posting by the YouTube user and was shared on reddit as the event unfolded. Whoever is behind the account has done a really good job of keeping their identity private, so there is little to no online trail.
A person who claimed to have met the man recently, confirmed to Mashable via reddit he actually went by the name “mike” and lived in Virginia. The duo had met at a local rock climbing center three weeks ago. “Awkward kid, kinda sweet, strong but shit at rock climbing,” the acquaintance said. “He was talking about joining the Navy. He mentioned supporting Trump.”
One thing we do know: He supports Donald Trump.