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But trouble of every variety has been Page’s companion since he starred at McKinley Tech High School, from the laundry list of charges covering everything from cocaine to theft to the unlawful use of a livestock vehicle to the gunshot two days before Thanksgiving in 2003 that took his right eye.

Over the last three and a half years, Page has been charged with 33 crimes in Maryland and the District. He’s been found guilty of (or pleaded guilty to) six of them, including two second-degree assaults, a fourth-degree sexual offense, unlawful entry, fourth-degree burglary and possession of marijuana.

He’s violated probation repeatedly, had a $100,000 bond revoked and was ordered to a drug treatment program.

Under the fluorescent light, Page clung to faded glory. I asked what the ‘agent’ does for for a man who is told when to wake, shower, eat and sleep.

“He’s my agent.”

“We don’t pay for stories,” I said.

“I can’t do it.”

“Well, how are you doing?”

“I can’t do it.”

“You can’t do it?”

“There’s no sense in even trying to talk.”

A staffer standing by the door reminded Page that when he signed a release form for the interview days earlier she made clear he wouldn’t be paid. That’s not how the business works.

Page protested. His words seemed detached from the locked-down reality. Page claimed to have received checks for a 2009 interview with a Washington television station and by a national newspaper that wrote about his struggles in 2006. The bluster carried a hint of pride that, for an instant, tried to act as if he wasn’t in this room. Forget the officer in the bulletproof vest a few feet away.

“How much?” I said.

“Look on the Internet.”

Story Continues →