McCarren Pool's 'Lock Man' Arrested, Found to Have Long Criminal History
WILLIAMSBURG — The man who became an overnight success selling locks for McCarren Pool's lockers was arrested Wednesday for vending without a license — and police discovered a history of 40 past arrests for charges including sodomy, public lewdness and grand larceny.
Angel Wilburn — known as "Lock Man" after he bragged earlier this month to DNAinfo New York that he sold about 50 locks to swimmers daily — was arrested near the pool after a woman told cops she had an order of protection against him.
Police then checked his "extensive history of arrests," police sources said.
"All we arrested him for was for being an unlicensed general vendor," said a police source.
"He wasn't violating his order of protection against her since it's a public place."
But the source added, "This guy raised a lot of red flags. He's got a huge record of minor sex crimes and here he is outside of the pool."
Wilburn, 49, has been in prison three times — twice for grand larceny and attempted robbery and once for drug possession, records show — and he has been charged with public lewdness 14 times and has multiple orders of protection filed against him by women, police sources said.
In Brooklyn, Wilburn has pleaded guilty to public lewdness three times — in 2005, 2007, and 2008 — and to petit larceny in 2010, officials said.
He has two other outstanding cases in Brooklyn, one for petit larceny, attempted distribution of indecent materials to minors and public lewdness, and another for public urination, according to court records.
Wilburn was held overnight Wednesday at Brooklyn Central Booking and awaited arraignment Thursday at Brooklyn Criminal Court, officials said.
Cops have a large presence at McCarren Pool, with 16 officers stationed every day at the newly renovated swimming mecca that has been the site of fights, arrests, pepper spray use and thefts since its opening at the end of June.
To combat thefts at city pools, visitors must enter with a certain type of lock for the pool's lockers. Wilburn told DNAinfo New York he made $250 daily from selling locks to swimmers in need.
"It's opportunity," he said at the time. "So many people come unprepared...it's lucrative. Why not?"
Parks security have also told swimmers to go purchase locks from Wilburn in order to enter the pool — and Wilburn previously bragged that the police even supported his presence at the pool.
"The police know me, the parks workers know me," he said last week.
But a police source said Wilburn "probably flew under our radar because he's across the street" from the pool and noted that cops had given out six summonses this week to unlicensed vendors at the pool before discovering Wilburn.
The police source said he "didn't make any statements" when he was arrested.
"Every time we write a summons we do a criminal check on that person," the source said.
"As soon as someone came to us with concern, we acted on it. I think it shows we're on top of security at the pool."