Has Catfish Guy met his Mr. Glass?

A buck-naked Bettendorf man, Tobias Hartsfield, 43, was busted by cops Sunday night after he was spotted engaging in dastardly activity — untying ropes on a barge near the new Interstate 74 bridge construction on the Mississippi River, according to police and media reports.

According to reports on KWQC-TV6 and in the Quad City Times, eyewitnesses saw the man, naked as the day he was born, presuming that he wasn’t born in a tuxedo or leisure suit, sauntering along the barge around 7:50 p.m. as he was untying ropes and gesturing wildly in a strange, ritualistic manner.

Those eyewitnesses, Allyssa Bryant and Aiden Lee of Bettendorf, told the newspaper that Bryant exclaimed, “Look at that shirtless dude!”

However, Lee was quick to clarify in retort, “He’s not shirtless, he’s buck naked!”

Indeed, upon further inspection, the man was.

Oh, how he was.

The duo called the police, and Bettendorf blue showed up to take the oddly-behaving naked dude into custody, where he was presumably given a bright-orange jumpsuit to ward off any uncomfortable drafts.

Police say Hartsfield took a boat from the marina to the I-74 Bridge construction area, where he got onto a barge and untied ropes, causing the barge to shift, police said. A tow boat was enlisted to move the barge back to its previous spot. The barge is reportedly receiving trauma counseling from a licensed professional.

Hartsfield faces charges of first-degree theft and first- and second-degree criminal mischief. His exposure was presumably considered decent, as he was not charged with indecent exposure. He’s being held in custody on a $25,000 bond.

Local celebrity/guardian of the river, Catfish Guy, a.k.a. Peter Robinson, was unavailable for comment about this strange new villain exploding on the scene.


Sean Leary is an author, director, artist, musician, producer and entrepreneur who has been writing professionally since debuting at age 11 in the pages of the Comics Buyers Guide. An honors graduate of the University of Southern California masters program, he has written over 50 books including the best-sellers The Arimathean, Every Number is Lucky to Someone and We Are All Characters.