Wednesday, June 20, 2007

Married Men Looking For Sex With Men In Park

Married men looking for sex with other men have been frequenting Kokomo Reservoir Park, leading police there to set up an undercover sting operation which has so far netted six arrests. WRTV's Jennifer Carmack reports:

Six men were arrested on public indecency charges this week during a two-day sting at a park where people have complained about sexual activity, authorities said.

Undercover officers made the arrests on Tuesday and Wednesday at Kokomo Reservoir Park. At least one of the suspects exposed himself to an officer, according to police.

Logansport police Officer Wesley Peters, one of the sting's undercover officers, said it wasn't difficult to catch people committing sex-related crimes at the park.

"I don't have to ask for anything -- it's offered," Peters told 6News' Jennifer Carmack. "I talk in general terms -- talk about the weather and fishing -- and the subject (of sex) comes up." Detectives from Kokomo, Logansport, the Tippecanoe County Sheriff's Department and the Indiana State Police were involved in the sting.

Honeysuckle also was arrested on a charge of battery. Jones in addition to his public indecency charge, was arrested on a charge of marijuana possession.

Underly said he was married. He said Wednesday was only his second time trying to pick up another man at the park.

"I'm sorry I did it. That's all I can say," Underly told 6News' Jennifer Carmack. "It will never happen again, I'll tell you that."


More than 25 law enforcement officers are part of the sex sting operation according to Carmack, which seems like a sizable force for the smaller communities involved here. Undercover police wait for a target to expose himself before the arrest is made. As Carmack put it in her report, "Most off these men are married with children." How do you explain an arrest like this to your wife and children?

20 comments:

Anonymous said...

I have worked for an agency who did this with just two guys. It was like shooting fish in a barrel. I never did the undercover work, mostly transporting to jail. I know that it is very easy to find the hot spots via the internet. Just search the right keywords and you can find forums devoted to this kind of hook-up sex. Eventually this activity in these restrooms gets so bad that more and more complaints start flowing in. 25 officers does sound a bit much. Considering that they are all from various departments, sounds like maybe a regional type thing where various officers are cross trained and work in various jurisdictions. What I don't understand is why this sort of activity never happens in female restrooms. Of all the years I was 'in the know,' it was always the men's restroom that had issues. We never once had problems with female restrooms.

Jeff Newman said...

I have mixed feelings about these things. On the one hand, having sex in a public place is risky business, not to mention it's just tacky and gross. Men who engage in this behavior do so at their own peril, and they are aware of the risks.

But there seems to be a perverse delight taken in the humiliation of these men. The charge is very minor, but yet they make the evening news with a full-blown story that mentions their names, ages and even publishes their photos on the website the next day. Do other misdemeanor charges rate such coverage? Do you ever see the johns of busted prostitutes splashed all over the news?

I think the cops are as guilty as the news consumers (if not more so) of taking the above mentioned perverse delight in the humiliation. One marked car would have done the job of this elaborate sting operation, and the undercover cops could have been put to good use going after violent criminals.

But the TV news story just wouldn't have been as titillating...

kevin said...

I have no sympathy for these men. They are cowards. They want to have their cake and eat it too.

Russ said...

Alhough as a parent, I am glad that these men were removed from the park, I completely see your side of the issue, Jeff. It took 25 LEOs to arrest 6 guys? I'm no expert on police procedure, but that sounds about like 20 too many.

On top of that, how did Channel 6 get tipped off about the sting that they made it all the way up to Kokomo in time to interview one of the guys? Guess Bob Segall at 13 was too busy dumpster diving...

Sometimes I wonder if the definition of "crime prevention" in the police academy is "Miranda rights" and not "preventing crime from occurring".

Lance said...

This used to happen in FW too (I think it was usually Franke Park). Seven cars, all backed into parking spaces at dark, with a single guy in each one reading a newspaper. It seems like most cities (at least the ones around here I've lived in) have a place just like this where it's an open secrect as to what goes on there. I always wondered why they didn't just get a motel room - they're consenting adults, after all.

Jeff Newman said...

It is a complex set of circumstances that puts most of these guys where they are. We (men in particular) are put under tremendous pressure to conform to hetero-normative standards, but once the not-so-straight guy builds his "straight life", it is nearly impossible to find a healthy way to deal with his sexuality issues without major life disruption.

So, one's "gay side" becomes something to be managed, as it is basically impossible to integrate it into said straight life.

Some find very solitary ways to deal with it (porn, fantasies, etc.), while others do as these guys in the parks and restrooms do, rationalizing their behavior as non-cheating since it's hit-and-run sex without intimacy.

I guess what I'm trying to say is that while it's easy to pass judgment on those who are engaging in this kind of behavior, if you have walked in their Moccasins you would find some compassion even if you don't condone the behavior.

Advance Indiana said...

Jeff, I was just pleased Carmak pointed out in her reporting that most of the men were married with children. Typically these stories don't mention that fact and people are left with the impression this is the sort of thing out gay men run around doing all the time. I read where "dogging" is popular in England--where straight people meet up for quick, anonymous sex in public parks and other public places

Anonymous said...

That park has always been a lollypop park. If Kokomo has a bath house, there would be no lollypop parks.

Anonymous said...

I have past experience from the law enforcement side of this issue. It's not a harmless 'crime' since it's possible (though unlikely? Not sure, depends on location, time, etc) children may stumble upon the activity. And clearly adults who don't want to see this kind of thing should not have to deal with it in public parks paid for by their tax dollars.

That said, this is not an issue of whether there is a bathhouse available for these men. These men are typically 'straight', married and just looking for a quick orgasm. The excitement of the 'hunt' is part of it, and the public location is part of it.

Many if not most of these men do not consider themselves gay and even if they did know about bathhouses and the location of a local one, they would not be interested in such an environment.

Whether it's gay or straight sex, it shouldn't be allowed in public parks. But clearly there is no need for such an overkill of law enforcement. Worse, often innocent men are caught up in these stings (as has happened recently at NIFS in downtown Indianapolis). And Jeff's right, the perverse pleasure being taken by the media and others in the plight of these men is a sad thing to see. For christ's sake, arrest em, book em, fine em and send em on their way. Don't drag their names/faces through the mud and put them up for public humiliation. That serves no useful purpose. Consider a man with a wife and children at home.

Jay said...

"I have no sympathy for these men. They are cowards. They want to have their cake and eat it too."

Nice. Love the compassion pouring out of you. I don't agree that adults should be having sex or exposing themselves in public. That said, society shares a lot of the blame for shaming men into marriages and staying in the closet. Hoosiers, indeed, Americans in general, are not known worldwide for their sexual intelligence and tolerance. We love to point fingers at other countries for their barbaric treatment of women, children, and gays, yet in many corners of this country, we are no better.

Shame on these men for using poor judgement, and shame on the rest of us for creating a climate where people can not live openly and honestly.

Jeff Newman said...

2:53, I agree with everything you wrote with the exception of one small item: "[t]hese men are typically...just looking for a quick orgasm."

It's a little more complicated than just "getting off" -- for one, in the case of an oral sex encounter there is only one of the two of them having an orgasm (assuming that even one of them makes it to that point; my guess is fear and paranoia prevent that in many cases).

At the risk of sounding like an armchair psychologist, it's really a complete misunderstanding of one's own sexuality, although if you were to talk to some of these guys they would tell you that they have it all figured out and compartmentalized.

Sometimes they don't even consider what they are doing to be sex; they use words like "action" to describe these encounters. "Real" sex (and, of course, intimacy) is for their wives and girlfriends, the other stuff is just some compulsion they can't explain.

For the most part, it's a guilt-ridden and overall unhappy state of being.

Anonymous said...

And if you're looking for some good old fashioned heterosexual action in Kokomo, make your way to the city's fine assortment of truck stops! There's sure to be a cheap hooker that suits your fancy. Kokomo is well known by the trucking commmunity for its easy prostitutes.

The Scribe said...

Interesting that these aren't straight men...

Men going out to local parks to have anonymous sex doesn't exactly break the stereotype of gay men, does it?

I don't know many straight men who engage in this type of behavior, but it seems to be rather common in the gay community.

Advance Indiana said...

And how do you know this, Scribe?

The Scribe said...

Um, I don't know Gary. Typically when a man has sex with another man, that usually means he's gay.

How do I know it's fairly common? Talk to any LEO, read the news, go to a local park after sundown.

Again, not many straight people engaging in this type of behavior (that, or they're smarter than the homosexuals about getting caught).

Advance Indiana said...

"Out" gay men don't go to public parks to have sex. It's the men living two lives who do that. Are you one of those men, Scribe.

The Scribe said...

What, are you turning into Wilson now, Gary? Bullshit, snide, petty insults that are better suited to 3rd grade? That's your new style?

"Out", not out, what's the difference? Gay is gay.

That's like saying someone is sorta pregnant.

Oh, and I'm sure it's unusual for "out" gay men to go cruising for anonymous sex, right Gary? Are you one of those men who cruises for anonymous sex, Gary?

Advance Indiana said...

Hey, you're professing to know so much about a particular "lifestyle", Scribe, it's only fair to ask what upon you are basing your "knowledge."

Anonymous said...

chill out guys--we're all a little gay. who cares if your cock gets sucked by another man? lips are lips

F. Patterson said...

"Sometimes they don't even consider what they are doing to be sex; they use words like "action" to describe these encounters. "Real" sex (and, of course, intimacy) is for their wives and girlfriends, the other stuff is just some compulsion they can't explain."

And then sometimes its just about getting a good BJ which they can't get at home due to the repressed and inhibited sexual nature of most Americans. Which, after all, is a great tool for keeping the commoners in line.