Fugitive Nicholas Rossi steams glasses up in furious interview

American fugitive Nicholas Rossi who faked his own death and fled to UK to avoid rape charge steams his glasses up with rage, as he tells Dateline he can’t walk while insisting he’s Brit called Arthur Knight

  • Nicholas Alahverdian told NBC’s Dateline he is not an American accused of rape
  • He appeared beside his wife and tried to prove that he is unable to walk
  • He is facing extradition to the US over accusations he raped a woman in 2008

A Rhode Island fugitive who faked his own death and fled to Scotland steamed his glasses up with rage while angrily insisting he is a British man called Arthur Knight.

Nicholas Alahverdian – aka Nicholas Rossi, 35 – also theatrically tried standing to prove that was was unable to walk during a Dateline interview with Andrea Canning that will be screened Friday at 9pm ET. 

‘I am not Nicholas Alahverdian. I do not know how to make this clearer,’ he told NBC in a bizarre accent, muffled by an oxygen mask over his mouth and nose. 

Rossi was interviewed in April 2022 – seven months before a ruling in which a Scottish judge rubbished his claims, and confirmed he is in fact the US-born fugitive. He is currently being held in a Scotland jail as he awaits extradition proceedings.

On Thursday Alahverdian was due to appear for a hearing in Glasgow, Scotland, but failed to appear after an ‘altercation’ in Edinburgh, a court was told. He was seen leaving Edinburgh Sheriff’s Court in a wheelchair and the extradition hearing postponed until a later date.

The US now seeks to extradite him to face a number of sexual assault charges, amid them an accusation he raped a 21-year-old woman in Utah in 2008. They say he faked his death in 2017 and fled to Scotland.

Nicholas Alahverdian, also known as Nicholas Rossi, appeared in an interview with NBC’s Dateline in which he vehemently insisted he was a a British man called Arthur Knight

Rossi was interviewed alongside his wife, Miranda Knight  

At one point during the interview, Rossi also theatrically tried standing to prove he is unable to walk. Speaking in what sounded like an English accent, he said: ‘And we’d like privacy and I would like to go back to being a normal husband, but I can’t because I can’t breathe, I can’t walk’

During the interview with Dateline, Rossi seemed determined to continue with the deception, and grew so irate he was unable to see out of his small, round-framed glasses. 

Rossi appeared beside his British wife, Miranda Knight, and told Dateline: ‘We were once a normal family, but thanks to the media our lives have been interrupted.’

Speaking in what sounded like an English accent, he continued:  ‘And we’d like privacy and I would like to go back to being a normal husband, but I can’t because I can’t breathe, I can’t walk.’

In a desperate attempt to then prove he is unable to walk, Rossi tried to stand up before dramatically falling back into his chair as his wife stabilized him.

‘Exactly, exactly,’ he told the interviewer.

When asked if he is putting on a show, he said: ‘That is a low blow, that is a very low blow.’

Rossi was first arrested in October, 2021, after checking himself in to a hospital in Glasgow with a serious COVID infection. That is the condition he claims now necessitates his use of an oxygen tank.

Medical staff and police were able to identify him by comparing his tattoos with pictures of Rossi on an Interpol red notice.

Rossi appeared beside his British wife, Miranda Knight, who offered reassurance as he tried to demonstrate that he couldn’t walk

Nicholas Rossi leaving the Sheriff Court in Edinburgh on Thursday after an ‘altercation’ that saw an extradition hearing postponed 

The US now seeks to extradite him to face a number of sexual assault charges, amid them an accusation he raped a 21-year-old woman in Utah in 2008. Pictured is his undated mugshot from the sex offenders’ registry

A stream of preliminary hearings then took place, which saw Rossi sack at least six lawyers and claim to have been tortured in prison.

The hearings culminated in an extraordinary identification case where he insisted his fingerprints had been meddled with and that he had been tattooed while unconscious in hospital in order to resemble Rossi.

He was then charged with acting aggressively towards a consultant and senior nurse at Glasgow’s Queen Elizabeth University Hospital. 

Rossi reportedly told US media in December 2019 that he had late-stage non-Hodgkin lymphoma and had weeks to live.

An obituary dedicated to him appeared online, and several outlets reported that he had died in February 2020.

After his arrest US authorities issued additional extradition requests – one related to another allegation of rape and another to an allegation of sexual assault.

Advocate depute Paul Harvey said at the time: ‘As a result of the extradition process I’m told that two other women in Utah have come forward with allegations of sexual offences.

‘On Friday, October 28 the US Embassy in London issued a diplomatic notice for supplementary extradition requests, requesting the extradition of the person.

Rossi arriving at an Edinburgh court in April 2022 in a wheelchair beside his wife Miranda, who is wheeling a tank of oxygen for him

Prosecutors said Rossi is a Rhode Island man wanted after fleeing the US in 2017 to evade charges involving identity theft and fraud, and a 2008 sexual assault charge in Utah 

Criminal past of Nicholas Alahverdian 

Date unknown: Failure to register as a sex offender in Rhode Island. Accused of separate attack which allegedly saw him kidnap and sexually assault a woman

Date unknown: Accused of similar abduction and sexual assault attempt in Massachusetts    

2008: Convicted of sexual assault in Ohio after an ‘encounter’ with a fellow student at Sinclair Community College in Dayton. In September 2008, he allegedly raped an ex-girlfriend in Orem, Utah – the allegation that led to his arrest in December 2021.  

2017: Fraud in Ohio. Former foster mom in same state accused Alahverdian of $200,000 scam which saw him allegedly take out fake credit cards and loans in her husband’s name 

February 2020: Fakes his own death of lymphoma, with unnamed ‘widow’ claiming  Alahverdian had been buried at sea. In July, DNA links him to 2008 sex attack in Orem, Utah – the charge which ultimately led to his discovery in Scotland

December 2021: Arrested at hospital in Glasgow, Scotland, while intubated with COVID on suspicion of Utah sex attack

January 2022: Alahverdian was ordered into custody in Scotland after missing a bail hearing.

February 2022: Freed from jail on being granted bail. 

April 2022: Continues to deny he’s Alahverdian at extradition hearing. 

June 2022: Misses hearing after claiming he’s ‘bedridden with chronic lung condition’. Refuses to give DNA or fingerprints to police. 

July 2022: Back in custody for abusing medical staff. Later convicted and fined $500.

November 2022: Scottish judge rules ‘Knight’ is Nicholas Alahverdian/Rossi. Ordered to remain in custody. 

April 2023: Rossi still in jail. Extradition hearing postponed over claims he attacked jail staffer. 

‘This morning Scottish ministers certified the extradition requests and copies of both extradition requests and the Scottish ministers’ certification were served on the requested person by a police constable at the court this morning.’

He said one relates to an allegation of rape in Salt Lake City and another to an allegation of sexual assault elsewhere.

Rossi, who arrived at court for the October 2022 date with his wife Miranda Knight, is already fighting an extradition request by authorities in Utah who allege he raped a 21-year-old in the state.

He was arrested on December 13 last year after being admitted to the Queen Elizabeth University Hospital in Glasgow – under the alias Arthur Knight – for urgent Covid treatment.

He was traced following a tip off from Interpol while he was on a ventilator in intensive care.

Rossi told US media in December 2019 that he had late-stage non-Hodgkin lymphoma and had weeks to live – before several outlets reported that he had died in February 2020, with a gushing obituary published online about him.

He is also said to have attacked women in the states of Rhode Island, Ohio and Massachusetts.

However, when he was arrested in Scotland, neighbors claimed he had told them he was a British professor who said he was working at the nearby University of Glasgow.

Described as an eccentric, the alleged academic was often seen sporting large hats, dapper bow ties and spoke with a cut-glass English accent.

It was also claimed he enjoyed visiting bars wearing suits, where he would sip on whiskey and go on political rants about Brexit. with one neighbor telling The Times: ‘For someone who was on the run, he really liked to draw attention to himself.’

Alahverdian furiously denies he is the American wanted by the FBI and insists he has been mistakenly identified by the authorities.

Police and hospital staff initially identified the man as being Rossi from tattoos on his body. Photographs obtained by officers showed that he had tattoos on his arms.

Prosecutors said in 2020 that an anonymous email was sent to Rhode Island Media indicating he had died from non-Hodgkin lymphoma and that he had been cremated and buried at sea.

The court heard that since the alleged sexual offender’s arrest received media attention, Police Scotland had received ‘a complaint of a domestic nature to police in Essex in 2017’ in relation to Rossi.

Rossi claimed he was a British professor who said he was working at the nearby University of Glasgow. He is pictured in Edinburgh in July, 2022, wearing pajamas and velvet shoes

Alahverdian, 34, was arrested on an Interpol notice at the Queen Elizabeth University Hospital in Glasgow on December 13 after nearly dying of Covid-19

Several media outlets reported in 2020 that Alahverdian had died on February 29 2020. They cited the website EverLoved.com, which said his body was cremated and his ashes scattered at sea.

An online obituary dedicated to him read: ‘Nicholas Alahverdian’s battle for life ended on February 29 2020.

‘The children and families in the care of the Rhode Island Department of Children Youth and Families (DCYF) for whom he inspired and led through turbulent government transgressions have lost a warrior that fought on the front lines for two decades.’

A US man alleged to be a fugitive on the run from the FBI was found after years spent hiding in Scotland by police matching his tattoos, prosecutors have said.  The man, who goes by at least ten other aliases, including Nicholas Alahverdian (pictured), appeared at a hearing in Edinburgh on Friday in a wheelchair wearing an oxygen mask, pyjamas and a dressing gown

He is accused of raping an ex-girlfriend in September 2008, with police investigating him after discovering he’d been reported to the police over similar alleged attacks in Rhode Island, Massachusetts, Utah and Ohio.  

Rossi was convicted of sexual assault following an ‘encounter’ with another student at Sinclair Community College in Dayton, Ohio. 

He is suspected of carrying out multiple other sex attacks, and was also accused of a $200,000 fraud after taking out credit cards and loans in his foster mother’s husband’s name in Ohio, it is alleged. 

Rossi divorced his second wife in 2017 after less than two years of marriage, and is also said to owe her $52,000. Both of his former spouses took out restraining orders against him after their marriage ended. 

More details of his bizarre behavior was detailed by the Providence Journal, which obtained a series of Pawtucket police reports from more than a decade ago.

One accuser told police in July 2010 that Rossi lured her to his apartment under the guise that she’d be visiting his art studio. Instead, she told cops, he took away her phone and pressed her for sex.

This map shows the trail of havoc and alleged criminal behavior carried out by Nicholas Alahverdian across the US 

When she refused his advances, he told her ‘if she left, he would kill himself by stabbing himself in the chest with a knife,’ the outlet reported.

He was then was taken to hospital for a psychiatric evaluation.

Police returned to his apartment that November on a tip, and said they encountered an ‘extremely upset’ woman with injuries to both eyes. 

The woman told cops that Rossi snapped after their dinner guests’ baby began crying earlier that night, and claimed they later got into an argument which turned violent. 

Rossi ‘grabbed her and knocked her to the ground and held her down’ and ‘slapped her on the facial area,’ the outlet reported.

Utah County Sheriff’s Office in Provo began the hunt for Rossi in 2020 after testing old sexual assault kits.

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