Courtesy of OSU Police
Tuesday night, a wanted man who calls himself Bigggggg Mike took a fan picture with Ohio State athlete and Olympian Amanda Furrer at Fourth Street Bar and Grill. Wednesday night, Ohio State Police were on his trail.
University Police issued a public safety notice informing the campus community that Michael Moses Tarpeh was dangerous, wanted and could be in the area.
But Furrer, a senior member of OSU’s rifle team, saw Tarpeh at Fourth Street Tuesday night, and the moment was captured on camera.
“I don’t know him or have a connection with him, it was a fan picture because he found out I was in the Olympics and it happened to lead police in the right direction,” Furrer said in an email. “He was just excited about me being an Olympian.”
Furrer said she was unsure of details on University Police’s investigation, and representatives from University Police were not immediately available for comment Wednesday night.
The public safety notice, which was sent out Wednesday at about 7:30 p.m., said Tarpeh is wanted by the Morgantown, W. Va., Police Department for aggravated assault and attempted sexual assault. The Massachusetts State Police also wants Tarpeh for an armed carjacking, robbery and assault and battery of a motorist in Lee, Mass.
The University of Connecticut Police Department has warrants pending for Tarpeh’s arrest as well.
Furrer said when she met Tarpeh, she thought he was just another guy out enjoying his night. When she found out he was wanted in three states, she was uncomfortable.
“You never know who people are,” she said. “The nicest person is capable of anything.”
Furrer did not say when and how she found out Tarpeh was wanted.
A Twitter account that appears to be Tarpeh’s, @BiggggggMike, tweeted at about 11 p.m. Wednesday, “Whats everyone in colobumus (sic) doing tonight? lol.” Shortly after, he tweeted, “F*** the police yallllllllll.”
Students said they did not receive a text message alert from University Police and weren’t sure why.
“I am glad that they emailed us about it, but I wish it’d have been more of a text message since it seems like it’s a lot more urgent news,” said Eric Blum, a third-year in biology.
Other students agreed.
“I would expect a text alert since I am not always on my email later at night. I am not too worried about it though, but I hope OSU takes further action,” said Chelsea Fraker, a fifth-year in electrical engineering.
However, fourth-year in English, Kelsey Bick said she was just happy to be notified.
“I was happy OSU sent the email alert out in such a timely manner and I’ll definitely be sure to stay in or walk with people if I go out tonight,” Bick said Wednesday evening.
Twenty-three-year-old Tarpeh uses the alias Michael Moses Boadi. He weighs about 280 pounds and is about 6 feet tall, according to the notice.
Tarpeh is not an OSU student.
Sally Xia and Anthony Szuhay contributed to this article.