DOCUMENT: Bizarre, Crime

"Occupy" Figure Is Wanted Man In Bizarre, Oily Case

Wall Street protester skipped town on criminal raps

Praying Man

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Occupy Wall Street

OCTOBER 19--A well-known “Occupy Wall Street” protester who was arrested last Friday for kneeling down in prayer and blocking traffic in lower Manhattan is wanted in Indiana for failing to appear in court in connection with criminal charges filed after cops found him naked, intoxicated, and covered in olive oil in a public park.

The bizarre nature of the charges against Michael Donte Booth, 27, were the subject of a previous TSG story after police discovered him sunbathing in the altogether in a Mishawaka park on May 24.

Cops found Booth laying face up on a blanket “with his entire genitals showing.” Nearby, officers found the book “Gay Power,” a “Kroger bottle of extra virgin olive oil,” two cans of Miller beer, and Marlboro cigarettes, according to an arrest report.

Officers noted that Booth (pictured at left) was acting strangely and “kept smiling wide eyed at officers.” At one point, he told cops, “I’m from New York. Can’t I do this here?” He added, “I’m a Republican and the cigarettes pay your taxes.” In response to Booth’s nonsensical observations, officers “quickly detained him in cuffs" and used "the blanket for cover inside a police mechanical.”

Booth was charged with public indecency, public intoxication, and lying to cops about his identity (he initially claimed to be “Micheal Sampson”). While due in a St. Joseph’s County court on June 15 for a hearing on the misdemeanor counts, Booth did not show up.

As a result, a judge issued a bench warrant for Booth’s failure to appear. The warrant remains outstanding, according to a court clerk.

Booth was one of 14 "Occupy Wall Street" protesters arrested Friday morning by the NYPD for obstructing traffic on lower Broadway, blocks from the group’s Zuccotti Park encampment. Booth has been dubbed “The Praying Man" on blogs and YouTube due to his kneeling down in the streets with his hands clasped and his eyes closed.

Before his arrest, Booth received a warning from cops, who subsequently placed him in plastic handcuffs (as dozens of onlookers and press photographers recorded the collar). He is due in Manhattan Criminal Court on April 13. (2 pages)