Subway Rider Arrested on Lewdness Charges Had a Giveaway: A Team U.S.A. Tattoo

He's the kind of man you should be able to pick out in a crowd, even amid the Olympic furor: His forehead is emblazoned with a Team U.S.A. tattoo.

The man's name is Michael Pope, and his reputation — not his patriotism — preceded him in Kansas City, Mo., where he was found this month by New York City police detectives and arrested.

Mr. Pope, 20, was wanted for two episodes of public lewdness on the subway. He was first sought for public lewdness in late December, when, the police said, he exposed himself for more than half an hour while looking at a 29-year-old woman on a No. 2 train in Crown Heights, Brooklyn.

Photo
Michael Pope on the No. 2 train in December, when, according to the police, he exposed himself while looking at a 29-year-old female passenger. Credit New York Police Department

He was arrested a few days later, the police said, and released without bail after his arraignment, according to court filings. But law enforcement authorities said he did not return to court.

In April, a woman who stumbled on an article about him on the internet called the police to say that Mr. Pope had exposed himself to her on Feb. 25, on the L train near the station at Metropolitan Avenue and Lorimer Street in Brooklyn. She was able to identify him because of the Team U.S.A. tattoo, the police said.

The department does not typically send detectives to chase after those who jump bail, particularly those facing misdemeanor charges, a police spokesman said, but it treats crimes of a "sexual nature" with particular seriousness.

Police detectives notified other law enforcement agencies of their interest in finding Mr. Pope and searched computerized records for any evidence of his whereabouts. They eventually found Mr. Pope in Kansas City, where two detectives took him into custody on Aug. 3, two days before the opening ceremony of the Olympic Games.

The police said the timing of the man's arrest just before the start of the Games was a coincidence. Mr. Pope was brought back to New York; he is being held at Rikers Island on misdemeanor charges of public lewdness and bail jumping, according to the Brooklyn district attorney's office.

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