Naked Violinist Jailed in Portland: Cops Haul Off Man for 'Lack of Attire'

Tuesday, 27 May 2014 07:18 AM

By Nick Sanchez

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A naked violinist was jailed in Portland, Oregon, over the weekend after fiddling away an afternoon in front of the local courthouse.

Matthew Thomas Mglej, 25, was warned several times Saturday that if he did not leave his perch at the Mark O. Hatfield Courthouse at Southwest 3rd and Southwest Salmon Street, or at the very least put on some clothes, he would be arrested, Oregon Live reported. The case slowly escalated as several officers, a sergeant, and a lieutenant gave him forewarning before he was offered a free ride to the station he couldn't refuse.

Mglej may or may not be the man's real name, Portland Police spokesman Sgt. Pete Simpson said in a press release. Nonetheless, it was clear the naked Nero wanted something to burn, as he scrawled his manifesto on a cardboard sign between sets.

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When he was finally sacked, he refused to walk to the officers' car, and had to be carried.

City ordinances state that it is "unlawful for any person to expose his or her genitalia while in a public place or place visible from a public place, if the public place is open or available to persons of the opposite sex," and Mglej was clearly in violation, the press release stated.

Mglej made a small splash on social media, with some concerned citizens live-tweeting his performance and arrest as it unfolded.


CBS News pointed out that, despite the ordinance against public nudity, police often turn their heads during the city's annual Naked Bike Ride as long as participants don't wander too far off the designated route. Roughly 8,000 attend each year in June.

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