A man with a lengthy history of sex crimes dating back to the 1970s has been arrested for allegedly groping an off-duty NYPD traffic agent on the L-train.
Police say earlier this week, Gian Verdelli, 67, allegedly groped the 37-year-old off duty officer on a Manhattan-bound L train at the Bedford Avenue station. Before his arrest, NYPD shared an image of Gian Verdelli on social media, in hopes that someone would come forward with information about his whereabouts. They even offered up a $2,500 reward for relevant information.
WANTED for a FORCIBLE TOUCHING on board a Manhattan bound ‘L’ from Bedford Ave to 1st Ave #gramercypark @NYPD13Pct @NYPDTransit on 06/26/19 @ 8:50AM Reward up to $2500 Seen him? Know who he is?☎️Call 1-800-577-TIPS or DM us! Calls are CONFIDENTIAL! #YourCityYourCall pic.twitter.com/zJkIIlzflh
— NYPD Crime Stoppers (@NYPDTips) June 28, 2019
This is not the first incident that Verdelli has been involved with such a crime. ABC reports that he is a Brooklyn-based registered sex offender with 168 prior arrests dating all the way back to the 1970s, 30 of which were in connection with sex crimes.
In 2012, Verdelli was reportedly arrested for groping a woman on a PATH train on two separate occasions. Besides the groping case in 2012, he has been arrested for a variety of offenses that often involved the transit system, drugs, and trespassing. He has done very little jail time, despite the repeated offenses, according to reports.
In this recent incident, Verdelli allegedly put his hands under the agent’s dress and groped her genitals. The agent confronted him, to which he replied, “It’s crowded.”
The agent was able to take a photo of the man at the 1st Avenue station in Manhattan and followed him until he disappeared into the crowd.
News of this incident comes about a week after Governor Cuomo announced a crackdown on fare evasion and MTA workers assaults. Assaults reported by transit workers is up 15 percent in the past four years, according to the MTA.