A Memphis man who police say has a history of aggressive panhandling is now behind bars, accused of exposing and playing with himself in a downtown parking lot.
Police were called to the parking lot of the KFC in downtown Memphis about 6:20 p.m. New Year’s Day. A witness told police she was in her car playing a game on her phone when she saw Michael Birdsong walking around the parking lot with his genitals exposed. She told police the man pulled up his shirt and began playing with himself. Another witness told police she saw the same thing.
When officers confronted Birdsong, they say he began running across Poplar Avenue, nearly getting hit by several vehicles. Investigators say Birdsong ran into a Wendy’s, then tired to barricade himself in the bathroom. Police say an officer was able to wedge the door open, and they deployed a chemical spray to get inside. Investigators say Birdsong continued to yell obscenities at the officers while struggling, before being placed into a squad car.
Investigators say Birdsong was known to officers, and that he had been cited in the past for aggressive panhandling at the KFC and the nearby Exxon station.
Birdsong remains in jail on $600 bond, charged with indecent exposure, evading arrest, obstructing a highway, criminal trespass, and disorderly conduct.