Tyler Gleason: The Messianic Facebook Manifesto of the Man Who Allegedly Left His Baby in the Sun on FM 1960

Categories: Crime

gleason .jpg
Harris County Sheriffs Office
Tyler Gleason: The unshakable smile of a true zealot.
Along with his wife, Tonya Gleason, Houstonian homeless advocate Tyler Gleason was arrested yesterday and charged with child endangerment.

Harris County Sheriff's deputies say that the couple left their five-month-old son in a car-seat in the median of FM 1960 near Kuykendahl while they solicited funds from motorists, ostensibly for an ambitious homeless shelter they hope to build.

When a deputy arrived a little after 7 p.m., the temperature was still 96 degrees. An HCSO spokesman told KHOU that the infant's clothing was soaked through with sweat and he had a body temperature of more than 101 degrees. The child, described as "lethargic" and "in distress," was whisked to an air-conditioned patrol car to await paramedics. While the child did not need a hospital trip, Child Protective Services took custody, and his parents were charged with child endangerment, a third-degree felony.

Gleason, 36, apparently was attempting to raise funds for Nation of Hope, an East End homeless-run shelter whose guiding principles are taken from the life cycle of butterflies. (Residents would progress from "eggs" through "chrysalis" and "caterpillar" phases before fluttering away.)

In epic detail on his personal Facebook page, and with the same messianic zeal you see in his mugshot, Gleason uncorks a manifesto spelling out how he came to have this dream, how his childhood and early adulthood in a cult, his disastrous military career and various other bad decisions led him to homelessness in the streets of Houston by 2011 and now this big idea.

Which, apparently, he is ruthlessly attempting to fund by posting up a baby in the middle of an exhaust-choked highway on one of the hottest days in Houston history...

"I do my best to keep it extremely real, and I'm very open about my life," he begins. "I've done only a few things that I regret. I've paid my debt to society, and I stay open about my experiences because I think it's the only way to end a lot of the discrimination in our world."

He goes on to say that "the vast majority of folks I meet like me. If you've got discriminating enough tastes to be a select member of the tiny group who find me unpalatable, keep the following in mind. It took me many glasses of Australian Shiraz before I could see what all the fuss was about. However, it is my current favorite, as I have now learned to appreciate it's subtler notes."

Next he describes his upstate New York hometown as a poverty-stricken shithole where the inhabitants did little besides hunt, fish, smoke (cigs and weed), drink and watch TV. Then, Gleason says, right after his birth, his mom joined a cult that was into "child abuse, male privilege, brainwashing, obsessive Bible study, their own lingo among insiders, very controlling leaders, discouraging relationships with 'unbelievers,' and going door to door 'witnessing' to increase membership."

After resisting for years, Gleason says he finally submitted to this life, only to get molested by a male babysitter at age seven.

"It's relevant in telling you about me, because combined with the cult, I developed a growing sense that I wasn't 'normal,'" Gleason writes. "Later, I had a secret boyfriend when I was 12 and I was in such denial over it that I never said he was my boyfriend until I was 35."

On to his academic career...He was an underachiever. School was a drag and of no value to the real world, where he worked alongside his dad as a contractor. He graduated from high school but instead of going to college, he headed off on a mission trip for his "cult." Wandering years followed...He evangelized in Des Moines, Spanish Harlem, Omaha and Atlanta, while working part-time and handing over a quarter of his earnings to the "cult."

At 23 he joined the Marines. He believes now it was a subconscious rebellion against the "cult," which kicked him out for not consulting them about that decision first. Since he had no friends outside the cult, and they no longer wanted him around, he says he was friendless.



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12 comments
DreamingKat
DreamingKat

Two, completely unrelated points. The important part, that everyone seems to be overlooking, is what are homeless people supposed to do with their children when it's hot out?  The safety net is weak and full of holes, and when people fall through they end up with no-win choices.  The public library is no longer open every day, much less open for all the hours that it's hot, and you really can't have crying infants in there anyway.  Day care of any sort is crazy expensive, and by definition, homeless people don't have a home to keep the child out of the heat in.  Do we expect everyone who finds themselves on the street to turn their children over to CPS?  Do they have to do it the same day they find that they no longer have a home?  What if they're relatively sure that they'll be able to find a safe place in a few days?  You can't ask CPS to take care of your kids fo a week until a check comes in, and if you don't have close friends or family you can get to, what do you do?  Are folks who know that they'll be homeless for more than a night or two supposed to teach their children that unless they hide from authority, their family will be split up?  Seriously, what are people who find themselves homeless supposed to do with themselves and their children in inclement weather?  To the point more directly concerned with the article, I've met Tyler, and while I won't say he's the most stable person in the world, I can say that he *does* have a good idea with his homeless shelter.  Additionally, he's working towards trying to actualize those ideas in small steps (but he doesn't tell you about those at first) and helping those around him help themselves too.  The last time I saw him, he was leading a discussion of homeless people sharing tips on how to make better signs for pan-handling.  Which, even if the sign sharing didn't increase revenue for the folks, he was convincing people who had little hope to work together to attempt better their situation (they left the location I was at to collect cardboard and go back to a studio apartment that a handful of them were sharing to use the markers there and make signs).  Even if he's crazy, helping people remember that they can work together to improve their situation, no matter how bad the situation is, is valuable.  

Guest
Guest

" I like how I look right now, my wife likes it, my friends like it. " Does your sunburned baby like it, too?

John Nova Lomax
John Nova Lomax

You see just a smile, and if he was posing for his TDL I'd agree. However, he is posing for a felony mugshot there. Context is everything.

clive
clive

Looked at Tonya's FB and she has many pics of the baby posted. He is a darling baby, very cute and happy looking. She seems like a good mom. Sounds like she dumped Tyler a while back. Hope that's still true.

Jay Pledger
Jay Pledger

I'm a retired Tx parole officer and I can tell all of you based on my experience that Gleason is smooth talking an methodical con man that will do any thing for personal gain even it means destroying someone else's life. He practices Fallibilism which is scary Stay away from him because he is dangerous .

Chris
Chris

Not to downplay the serious accusations, but I lol'd at 'The unshakable smile of a true zealot.' and 'the same messianic zeal you see in his mugshot,'. Much as I look at the picture I just see smiling...

Michelle
Michelle

He regularly panhandles in Tanglewood. That is where I see him. He asks everyone he meets to check out his FB page.

Hanabi-chan
Hanabi-chan

Perhaps he was under the influence of a case of that "subtle" Australian wine?

MadMac
MadMac

Why do I keep getting an Ira Einhorn vibe off this cat?

John Nova Lomax
John Nova Lomax

 A panhandler with a Facebook page and an ardent appreciation of the "subtler notes" of a fine Australian shiraz.

Technocrates
Technocrates

He's a panhandler with a Facebook page. Hmm. Facebook is stupid.

Tyler Gleason
Tyler Gleason

John, Context certainly is everything, and I want to clarify the context as I saw it for my smile in my arrest photo.   I was well aware that the photo would likely be printed.  I like how I look right now, my wife likes it, my friends like it. However, I thought a smile as subtle as the hints of black-currant in a good Shiraz would soften any (insert anyone with a real manifesto here)-like appearance. Secondly, I’d like to provide some additional information on the context of my “About Me” section on Facebook that you’ve called my “manifesto.”  It is an internet profile, and as no one would advise jumping into a relationship based only upon a dating profile on the internet, it was ill-advised of you to jump to the conclusions that you did based only upon my Facebook profile.  Just as you often find that someone is not what you thought they were after a first date, I believe that an interview will yield a more accurate picture of me and my intentions than you have published in your article. Feel free to contact me if you would like to gain a better perspective.

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