He wears a Mister Rogers cardigan, clipped ties and a smirk. He makes snarky jokes about Radiohead. He chats with Tom Morello, casually, just because he can. And he’s become such a fixture at the Occupy Wall Street protests that journalists now dub him “infamous.”
First reported on the blog “The World of Today,” by Adrien Chen of Gawker, Rick is becoming something of a legend around Zuccotti Park, where protesters have been camping out for the past several weeks.
Journalist Heidi Moore gave a shout-out to Rick’s “fine hipster figure” on public radio Friday.
A New York filmmaker imagined a TV show in which Rick goes undercover in a bicycle gang.
Because who could resist the image Chen painted:
He was the most sharply-dressed guy I had seen pretty much all week, and I work in Soho... But he was a cop! Which I learned when he flashed a badge hooked discreetly onto his belt and shooed away the uniformed officer who eventually came over to move us from the street... You could tell she was embarrassed; guess he’s like that cool detective at the police station that nobody wants to talk to about movies or music or anything ’cause he’ll scoff at them.
As for Rick’s identity, Chen speculates that Rick is Detective Rick Lee, a community affairs officer at lower Manhattan's 1st Precinct, which might explain his laissez-faire dress requirements.
“The mustache-phalanx is just a front to make New York’s Finest seem more invincible and less human,” men’s fashion blog Get Kempt writes.
Lee is quoted in dozens of articles about the Wall Street protests from a speech he gave to Community Board 1's Financial District Committee about trespassing.
A photo on the precinct Web site appears to confirm that hipster Rick is indeed NYPD Detective Rick Lee. In the photo, Rick is sporting a wool grandpa sweater, oval glasses and a hipster-worthy patterned tie.