Trump Tower climber wanted to meet presidential candidate, police say

A climber snatched by police from the side of Trump Tower is under mental evaluation after what authorities described as a stunt motivated by a desire to meet Donald Trump, the presidential candidate who owns the New York skycraper.

Police said the man, 20, from the US state of Virginia, would face charges from the incident, in which he caused a stir Wednesday in the heart of Manhattan by climbing the outside of the 68-story tower. He is now under observation at a mental hospital.

Police had pulled a large window pane from the 21st storey of the glass-sided building before two officers were able to grab him by the wrist and pull him inside against his will.

Barricades were set up on the New York streets below to control the gathered crowd, which cheered when the officers intervened.

The building is owned by US Republican presidential nominee Donald Trump, whose primary residence is an opulent three-storey penthouse atop the tower. He was out of town campaigning Wednesday.

Police said the climber described himself as an "independent researcher" who wanted to get Trump's attention and had previously posted a YouTube video discussing his plans.

"At no time did he express that he wanted to hurt anybody," a New York police spokesman said to reporters. "His sole intention was to meet Mr Trump."

The officer who was the first to grab the climber said that the man "went peacefully" after being hauled through the window.

Authorities had expressed concern over the contents of a backpack worn by the climber, and police later said they had been in contact with the US Secret Service, a federal agency that protects the president, presidential candidates and other dignitaries.

Earlier, rescue workers attempted to convince the man to quit during his climb, speaking to him through a window where they had cut a hole in the glass. But the man continued climbing using four suction cups that appeared designed for climbing on a flat surface, as well as straps and other climbing gear.

Last update: Thu, 11/08/2016 - 10:06

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