CORTLAND, N.Y. — A city man charged with rape turned himself in to police Thursday after he saw a post of a warrant issued for his arrest on the Cortland Police Department’s Facebook page and proclaimed his innocence in the post’s comment section.
Abdul-Salaam O. Odu, 27, of 6 Winter Street, is charged with first-degree rape for forcibly engaging in sex with a 35-year-old woman he knew on Feb. 11 at a residence on Charles Street, according to city police Lt. Michael Strangeway.
The woman was treated at Guthrie Cortland Medical Center and released, he said.
Police identified Odu as the suspect in the case, according to the department, and began a search for him, featuring Odu in their “Felony Friday” Facebook posting on 9:08 a.m. Feb. 15.
“Felony Friday is a partnership between the Cortland Police Department and citizens to bring the most violent, wanted persons to justice,” the department wrote in the posting that included a previous mugshot of Odu and and the charges the arrest warrant levied against him. The posting states he is a 5’10”, 160-pound, muscular, black man with black hair and brown eyes, whose last known address was on Charles Street.
After apparently spotting the posting, Odu responded on Facebook in the comment section at 5:43 p.m. the same day, “I will turn myself in. Not running from the law no point of running, the law will eventually catch up with you. I am completely innocent.”
Other Facebook users responded with outrage, incredulous laughter and questions as to why Odu had not already turned himself in.
“So how about you turn yourself in and take responsibility for what you have done,” wrote Tina Bowers at 8:42 a.m. Feb. 16. “If you are so innocent than it’s not a big deal about turning yourself in. So what are you so afraid of? Oh, that’s right cause you did do it.”
Another commentator claimed on Feb. 15 he had followed her daughter and granddaughter home, prompting them to call the police in fear. Odu responded later that day, writing, “All lies. All lies. 100 percent fabricated and falsified.”
Odu also replied to other comments at 8:11 p.m. Feb. 20 with a YouTube video of rapper Akon performing his song “Locked Up,” featuring Styles P.
Lyrics from the song, written by Aliaune Thiam and released by Sony/ATV Music Publishing LLC, include the lines: “Cops patrollin’, and now they done stop me/And I get locked up,/They won’t let me out, they won’t let me out (I’m locked up).”
But Odu wasn’t locked up. At least, not yet. Odu turned himself in to city police about 1 p.m. Thursday at the police station at 25 Court Street, according to the department.