Sex offender with at least 168 arrests wanted for groping traffic agent at NYC subway station

NEW YORK -- A man wanted for groping an off-duty NYPD traffic agent in a Brooklyn subway station is a registered sex offender with hundreds of prior arrests, authorities said.

Gian Verdelli, 67, is wanted for groping the victim as she got onto a Manhattan-bound L train, allegedly putting his hand under her dress, at the Bedford Avenue station Wednesday morning.

The 37-year-old traffic agent confronted him on the train, and he told her, "It's crowded."

When they got off the train at the 1st Avenue station in Manhattan, she took his picture. She also tried to follow him, but lost him in the crowd.

Verdelli was quickly identified as a registered sex offender from Brooklyn who has more than 50 arrests in New York City, and hundreds of arrests of his record.

When he was arrested for groping a woman aboard a PATH train on two occasions in Jersey City in 2012, Port Authority police said he had 168 prior arrests dating back to the 1970s.

The majority of his prior arrests are for with minor offenses, often involving transit systems, trespassing or drug possession. Most were misdemeanors in New York state or disorderly person's offenses in New Jersey, which typically carry little, if any, jail time -even for repeat offenders.