Will Obama streaker qualify for $1 million prize?

Juan J. Rodriguez is removed in handcuffs from the Obama rally in Germantown after running naked.
Juan J. Rodriguez is removed in handcuffs from the Obama rally in Germantown after running naked.
Posted: October 12, 2010

Juan J. Rodriguez may have hoped to score $1 million by streaking at President Obama's rally in Germantown on Sunday, but for now, all it has earned him is a trip to jail on charges of indecent exposure, public lewdness, and disorderly conduct.

The Staten Island, N.Y., man staged the stunt in response to a website's challenge - offering the money to anyone who ran naked in front of Obama to give the website some exposure.

Around 8:30 Monday night, Rodriguez emerged from Police Headquarters at Eighth and Race Streets, barefoot and dressed in a white zip-up coverall provided by police.

Rodriguez said he believed he did what was necessary to win the $1 million. He said he got about 10 feet from Obama, removed his clothing to reveal the website's name written on his chest, shouted the name of the website six times, and then started to move backward.

He said he thought it would be smarter to do this while moving away from the president rather than toward him. All the while, he worried that he was going to be hit with a Taser or shot.

"I didn't do anything that hurt anybody," he said.

As for people in the crowd who might have been offended, he said he didn't feel it was a big deal. "It's just the human body," he said.

He said he hoped Obama "didn't take it that harsh."

"I think he's a great guy. I think he's doing a great job for this country," he said. Rodriguez offered to contribute some of the money to a charity of the president's choice.

He said if he gets the money, he wants to secure his three children's futures, and help pay for surgeries for his sister.

"My family needs the money," he said.

Rodriguez said he wanted to invest money in an Internet cafe. He said he was unemployed but had some knowledge of web design and computer programming.

He said he also would share some of the money with a regular guest on Howard Stern's radio show who helped arrange for Rodriguez to get in contact with Alki David, the British billionaire behind the website stunt.

Rodriguez was released on $10,000 bail, which he will owe if he fails to show up for his court date Nov. 12.

The White House declined to comment on the incident.

It was unclear Monday afternoon whether Rodriguez will collect the $1 million. The rules of the challenge, issued last month, included shouting the name of the website six times within view and hearing range of the president.

"We're waiting to review all the video footage and we'll be back with a statement tomorrow," said David.


Contact staff writer Sam Wood at 215-854-2796 or samwood@phillynews.com.

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