When HOT 99.5 FM posted a picture last week on its Web site, showing deejay Timothy Coburn, known as “Teapot Tim,” baring his rear end in front of a Manassas city sign, the stunt was a joke meant to promote a radio station sweepstakes.
Not so for city officials. On Nov. 27, only a day after the picture was taken, Coburn, a Vienna resident, was required to turn himself in at Manassas’ police station, where he was booked with an indecent exposure charge. Coburn could face a maximum 12 months in jail and a $2,500 fine if convicted.
“The city government is displeased, to say the least,” said Sgt. Marc Woolverton, spokesman for the police department.
Calling into HOT 99.5 FM’s morning show on Tuesday, Coburn told his fellow deejays of how he was driving to the Prince William County Judicial Center in the center of Manassas. He complained that he wouldn’t be able to leave the state to go to work until he showed up in court.
“I don’t like going to court. I don’t like justice,” he said.
Coburn’s trial is scheduled for January. When contacted, Coburn referred all inquiries to station management.
John Arledge, an attorney who represents the city on such cases, thought Coburn might have a tough time defending himself in court.
“You can see what he did on the Web site. And there were citizen witnesses, people at a local bank. Quite a few people saw him do it,” he said.
With Coburn covering the last two letters of the city’s name, the picture may have been a word play. Soon after Coburn’s arrest, a smiley face was added onto the image of his bare behind.
On Tuesday, the radio station chose to remove the picture from the site. And managers at the station were discussing whether to discontinue the contest the picture was promoting.
“It certainly was never our intention to offend the city of Manassas,” said Jeff Wyatt, program director for HOT 99.5 FM.
Speaking Friday, City Manager Lawrence Hughes said calls had been made to HOT 99.5 FM management, complaining about the picture.
“They think it’s funny. We don’t think it’s funny,” he said.
Mayor Marvin L. Gillum described the Web site picture as a “disgrace and embarrassment to the people of the city.”