Times Square Light Pole Rapper Wanted To Meet Alicia Keys

NEW YORK (CBSNewYork/AP) — Authorities say an aspiring rapper who climbed up a Times Square traffic light pole Tuesday said he wanted to meet Alicia Keys and promote his music.

Raymond Velasquez was being held on $1,000 bail after his arraignment Wednesday on charges including reckless endangerment. The most serious is a misdemeanor. His lawyer declined to comment.

The 34-year-old goes by C.I. Joe or Coney Island Joe. Manhattan prosecutors say he spent two hours Tuesday rapping, dancing and doing pull-ups on the 20-foot-tall pole. The antics shut down traffic in the area.

A court complaint says Velasquez told police he wouldn’t come down unless the “Empire State of Mind” singer came to see him, though he eventually descended without her. The complaint says he later explained it was “just a publicity stunt.”

Police had responded to the scene around 9:30 a.m. Tuesday and closed traffic to the area.

Velasquez was taken to Bellevue Hospital for psychiatric evaluation. Velasquez is the same man who shouted and gave “TODAY” Show hosts a scare back in February.

During the incident, some amused onlookers cheered on Velasquez and others posted photos on Twitter and said that he was “rapping” and “threatening to jump.”

(TM and Copyright 2011 CBS Radio Inc. and its relevant subsidiaries. CBS RADIO and EYE Logo TM and Copyright 2011 CBS Broadcasting Inc. Used under license. All Rights Reserved. This material may not be published, broadcast, rewritten, or redistributed. The Associated Press contributed to this report.)

  • Dalia

    What appears to be insanity to the ‘sane’ is called ‘brilliance’ and Stromg will
    When said person becomes successful. Ray is an intelligent, honest, DRIVEN man.The world will see
    That one day.

    • Reality


      He’s actually a middle-aged moron.

    • KPMc

      He’s a zero, sponging off hard working taxpayers while waiting for more morons to make him a millionaire.

      It’s time to stop supporting people that are a burden on society and have no intention of making a positive (or at least neutral) contribution.

      Let’s end the free rides, NOW!

  • Nathan Rosenthal

    He looks like the spanish speaking day laborer I hired to do yard work.

  • Psych

    I hope he is getting a full psychiatric evaluation in Rikers, with mandated followup aftercare as part of his probation. These are people who need help.

  • DanTe

    Just shoot the idiot and stop blocking traffic. Why should folks be inconvenienced by this T ARD?

blog comments powered by Disqus
Charles Osgood Event

Listen Live