Joseph Gagliano, the Yaphank man accused of exposing himself to drivers on the Long Island Expressway in Suffolk County last week, has a history of lewd acts, according to court records.
Gagliano, 39, was arrested in Nassau County in March 1997 and charged with public lewdness, endangering the welfare of a child and attempted endangering the welfare of children.
In that case, Gagliano pleaded guilty in a Nassau court to public lewdness and attempted child endangerment and was fined $100, according to court records. He also was sentenced to a year of probation on each charge.
Nassau police confirmed the arrest but could not provide details yesterday because the file was in archives.
A naked man had been spotted eight times along the Long Island Expressway in Suffolk over the previous nine days when Gagliano was arrested Thursday night, said Chief Michael Sharkey of the Suffolk County Sheriff's Department.
At least once, the caller reported that the man was using a shirt to partially cover his face.
Deputies were on alert Thursday evening when a 911 caller reported seeing a naked man near Exit 57 coming out of the woods.
Deputies responded as the man, Gagliano, fled to a 2004 Jeep parked on a nearby service road. He got in the Jeep and drove the wrong way on a service road in an attempt to evade deputies but was quickly stopped, sheriffs said.
Gagliano, who listed his occupation as a butcher, later told deputies that he had personal problems and his highway activities were "some kind of rush for him," Sharkey said.
Gagliano was charged with public lewdness, a misdemeanor carrying a maximum sentence of three months in jail, three years' probation and a $500 fine. He also was charged with disorderly conduct, reckless driving and several vehicle and traffic violations.
He was held on $5,000 cash and $10,000 bond at his arraignment Friday. He later made bail and was released, authorities said.
No one answered the door yesterday at his house.