Streaker at Obama rally sought $1 million prize

Juan Rodriguez talks to reporters after his arraignment and release Monday night.
October 11, 2010 8:44:21 PM PDT
A man arrested after streaking at a rally for President Barack Obama over the weekend was trying to win a $1 million Internet challenge, a billionaire entrepreneur said.

Alki David recently offered the million-dollar prize to the first person who could successfully streak in front of the U.S. president with a website name written on his chest. He told Philadelphia newspapers that 24-year-old Juan J. Rodriguez was the first to take him up on the challenge.

After his arraignment Monday night, Rodriguez, a father of three, told Action News it was an offer he couldn't refuse.

"One of the challenges on there said 'Would you like to win a million dollars?" Rodriguez said. "I mean, that's pretty eye-catching right there."

Rodriguez went on to say that he believes he met all of the requirements.

"I did everything that was part of the rules. I had it written on my chest, I said it six times. I was close enough to him, I was like 10 feet from him," Rodriguez said.

David told The Philadelphia Inquirer that officials were reviewing video footage to determine whether the challenge had been met.

"Whether he was in earshot and eyesight of the president is what's being debated right now," David said. The rules of the challenge also included shouting the name of the site six times.

Rodriguez of New York City was charged Sunday with indecent exposure, public lewdness and disorderly conduct.

He told the Inquirer and Philadelphia Daily News that he is an Obama fan, but streaking is a time-honored way of getting attention. He said the stunt was about marketing the "extreme website" that allows people to compete in events like talent shows and cooking competitions and be rated by other users.

The White House has declined comment on the incident.

"I mean, if I get the money it would be worth it. I mean, sometimes, wacky things happen in our lives," said Rodriguez.

The streaking was not the only interruption at the rally in the Germantown section of northwestern Philadelphia. The Secret Service said it questioned and released an overexuberant fan who tossed a paperback book near the president. Spokesman Ed Donovan said the man had written the book and hoped the president would read it.

The Associated Press contributed to this report.


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