What to Know
- NYPD announced the arrest of a repeat sex offender with "well over 70" arrests following an incident on an L train
- 67-year-old Gian Verdelli was wanted following an alleged groping incident in which he forcibly touched an off-duty traffic agent
- Verdelli has had "dozens and dozens of arrests" over the years and was on parole as of May for another sex offense
The repeat sex offender and serial groper with "dozens and dozens of arrests" who was wanted in connection with allegedly touching an off-duty traffic agent onboard an L train Wednesday has been arrested, police announced Friday.
Police say that, around 8:50 a.m., 67-year-old Gian Verdelli was onboard a Manhattan bound L train from Bedford Avenue to First Street when he placed his hand under a 37-year-old off-duty traffic agent’s dress and rubbed her genital area.
Both the woman and Verdelli exited the train at 1st Avenue and East 14 Street, where the woman took a photo of Verdelli on the platform, before he fled the location on foot, police say.
"I want to commend the victim for coming forward, taking these photos and coming forward and reporting it," NYPD Detectives Chief William Aubry said at a Friday press conference.
While there are reports that Verdelli has been arrested over 100 times, Aubry said that Verdelli has "had dozens and dozens of arrests" over the years, adding that although some of the arrest documents have been sealed, he has "well over 70."
Verdelli was arrested around 5:30 a.m. Friday on Wards Island, Aubry said.
Attorney information for Verdelli was not immediately available.
Verdelli has had multiple run-ins with the law and subsequent convictions related to sex offenses, police say.
Verdelli is a Level 2 sex offender meaning he is a sexually violent offender and predicate sex offender, according to records.
Records show his last conviction was May 8, 2018 for persistent sexual abuse by having two or more prior convictions within the last 10 years in connection to an incident that occurred in August 2018. He was sentenced to a maximum two years in state prison. He was released on parole May 1 of this year.
He was also sentenced to 200 days in 2011 for another incident of forcible touching, records show.
Police describe Verdelli as being around 6 feet, weighing about 200 pounds, with brown eyes and long salt and pepper hair.
Authorities urge anyone who may have been a victim of Verdelli's to come forward by calling NYPD's Crime Stoppers Hotline at 1-800-577-TIPS or for Spanish, 1-888-57-PISTA. Tips can also be sent to www.nypdcrimestoppers.com.