Ardent Madonna fan arrested outside her NYC home

Last Updated: Sep 23, 2010, 12:14 PM IST

New York: A retired New York City firefighter yearning to meet Madonna has been accused of scrawling messages of adoration on the sidewalk outside her apartment building and possessing a 7 1/2-inch ice pick.

Robert Linhart is charged with graffiti and criminal possession of an ice pick recovered from his car. He`s also charged with resisting arrest outside the building near Central Park.

The grizzled 59-year-old was arraigned Wednesday in Manhattan Criminal Court. A judge set his bail at $20,000 cash.

Defense lawyer Cheryl Bader tells the Daily News there was "no threatening conduct" and it`s "not a crime to adore Madonna," the singer of pop hits including "Like a Virgin" and "Material Girl."

Police say Linhart was arrested Tuesday while spray-painting messages to the singer and asking to meet her.

The fire department says Linhart retired in 1998.

Bureau Report