A Staten Island man with the word “I touch little girls” marked on his chest was found dead. The 80-year-old man was located in the first-floor hallway of 256 Corson Avenue, according to law enforcement.
The elderly man, whose name has not been revealed by police, had the phrase “I touch little girls” written across his chest. The man was identified by NYPD officers but authorities have refrained from making his identity public until they notify his family of his death.
Police said that the Staten Island man was found shirtless and lying face-up on Monday at around 9:30 a.m., though it isn’t clear if another resident of the building was the one to find his maimed and unconscious body. It was reported that the 80-year-old man also had cuts on his forehead and suffered two black eyes. Police have not identified a suspect in the ongoing investigation.
According to police, the elderly man had a number of words scrawled on his body, including the phrase “I touch little girls” written in black ink across his chest and the words “I take dolls in my room for girls ages 1-5” on his stomach. It was also listed that the phrase “I touch” was written on his right foot.
Authorities learned that the man had 24 prior arrests, and while his record is far from clean, there isn’t a known history of pedophilia. Sources are unsure why the elderly man had those phrases written on his body. Police said the victim’s name did not appear in New York’s online registry of known sex offenders.
The unnamed elderly man who was found dead had a long list of prior offenses, though investigators have only released four of his busts. According to authorities, the 80-year-old man was arrested twice for assaults against a girlfriend in 1987, an unspecified 1992 assault, and a drug possession charge in 1996.
The investigation is currently being run by NYPD’s homicide unit and the Staten Island man’s body is being analyzed by the medical examiner. As of now, the cause of death is unknown. Investigators are still trying to piece together what happened, as well as determine a motive for the bizarre accusations written on the man’s chest.
The story has made its rounds on Twitter, with many users referencing “vigilantism.” It’s unclear whether the man’s death was the result of vigilante justice, though many people on Twitter suggest that is the case. Some pointed out on the social media platform that the “defund the police” movement has given rise to vigilantes in New York and around the country. An increase in vigilantism has not been reported by authorities in recent months.
As reported, the man’s name was not present on New York’s sex offender registry, which contains a list of those who committed crimes related to a sexual nature. Registered sex offenders on the list are assigned a risk level by a judge after a scheduled court hearing. The first level is given to those who have a low risk of re-offense. The second level is for those with a medium risk of re-offense, while the last level is assigned to those with a high risk of re-offense.
Any individual can sign up for NY-ALERTS, which is a system design to warn residents of the state whenever a Level 2 or Level 3 sex offender listed in the online directory moves. Those that want to get information about Level 1 offenders or those whose risk level has not been identified by a judge, can call the Division of Criminal Justice Services.