• Deavan Russell, 43, was arrested for allegedly masturbating in the middle of Times Square
  • He was charged with first-degree public lewdness and an additional lesser count of public lewdness
  • Russell has several pending cases in Manhattan, Queens and Nassau County prior to his recent arrest

A 43-year-old homeless man in New York City was arrested Tuesday after police caught him masturbating in the middle of Times Square.

Deaven Russell was apprehended right beside the city's iconic crossroads located in the heart of Manhattan at approximately 12:30 a.m. for allegedly committing the act while sitting outside the American Eagle Outfitters store in Broadway, The New York Post reported.

A video of the incident showed Russell just feet away from people passing by, including a young girl who was with her mother, according to The Post.

Russell, who lives in a homeless shelter in Brooklyn, was slapped with one count of first-degree public lewdness and an additional lesser count of public lewdness, according to a police spokesperson.

Court records showed that Russell has several pending criminal cases prior to his most recent arrest, which included a shoplifting charge in Manhattan from earlier this month, two pending cases in Queens and another two in Nassau County.

He was charged with petit larceny, possession of stolen property and menacing for allegedly ripping off a Duane Reade store in Midtown on April 2.

Russell faces similar charges in his Nassau cases — being charged with robbery, petit larceny and menacing. As for the Queens cases, he is facing charges of menacing, possession of stolen property and weapons possession.

Russell's arrest happened on the same day the state of New York announced it would lift several COVID-19 restrictions — particularly those that pertained to social and commercial settings — after the state reached a 70% vaccination rate, according to The New York Times.

The changes included restaurants no longer being forced to space tables six feet apart, movie theaters being allowed to pack their auditoriums without spacing seats apart and allowing people to enter commercial buildings without requiring a temperature check, among many others.

"This is a momentous day and we deserve it because it has been a long, long road," Governor Andrew Cuomo was quoted as saying at the World Trade Center in Lower Manhattan Tuesday, additionally pointing out that the changes would mean a "return to life as we know it."

City Mayor Bill de Blasio said in late April that he was targeting July 1 for New York City's "full reopening."

Representation. Police caught Deaven Russell, 43, allegedly masturbating in the middle of Times Square Tuesday noon. Pixabay