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Monday, November 5, 2012

STOKED: The Rise and Free Fall of Gator

Free Fallin' the story of Gator
Free Falling: the life of Gator

She's a good girl, loves her mama
Loves Jesus and America too
She's a good girl, crazy 'bout Elvis
Loves horses and her boyfriend too
Tom Petty – Jeff Lynne

Mark Anthony “Gator” Rogowski was born on August 10, 1966 in Brooklyn, New York. He and his older brother Matt were raised by his mother after their parents divorced. When he was three years old they relocated to Escondido, California where he started skating when he was 10 years old. Unfortunately, the locals wouldn’t let him skate at Fred Logan’s ramp so he would sneak up at night or when it was raining.
Mark "Gator" Rogowski
Four years later that little kid was turning into a professional skateboarder and within a couple of years, he was making over $100,000 a year.

He was one of the best extreme skateboarders of his time, his name as famous as Tony Hawk, Christian Hosoi, Stacy Peralta and Steve Caballero but it was his rare and unique thrashing style that set him on a whole different level where he was idolized and adored by many fans who screamed his name, well actually his nickname, “Gator”!!!

He quickly got a big sponsorship from Gullwing Trucks and Vision Street Wear where his girlfriend Brandi McClain was working as a models. Gator and Brandi would appear be in hundreds of magazines everyday.

In 1989, he acted as a double in the 1989 film Gleaming the Glue with Christian Slater, portraying skateboarder Brian Kelly, the movie also featured Tony Hawk.

It was with Brandi McClain that he appeared in Tom Petty’s Free Falling video in 1989.

After that, he grew arrogant and sarcastic and worst of all when he couldn't make the transition from ramp skateboarding to the streets where his famous Vertical ramp skating techniques didn't fit, Gator got depressed and angry. Add to that his girlfriend left him suddenly – a bomb was ready to explode.

On January 1992, after a terrible story and the death of Jessica Bergsten he was diagnosed with bipolar disorder and found guilty of raping and killing her. He was sentenced to 6 years for forceful rape and 25 for murder; he serves his time at a prison in San Luis Obispo, California.

On February 2011 Mark Gator Rogowski, has been denied parole, his next chance for parole will be in 2018.

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posted by Xavier Lannes @ Monday, November 05, 2012 


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