Police have reported making numerous arrests at picnic tables, on park benches, inside cars and off jogging trails, as undercover officers take aim at nudity in city parks, apparently fueled in part by postings on several web sites.
"I think it's crazy," said one park visitor, as she rode her bike in the Skiles Test Nature Park on the northeast side of Indianapolis, reacting to a police sting that has netted at least eight arrests since late May. "Ridiculous," she said.
Numerous online listings refer to certain parks around the nation as "cruisy parks," and some even offer ratings and tips for men who want to cruise through certain areas to link up with other men for exposing themselves or masturbating in public.
Days after one group of arrests at the park off Fall Creek Parkway in northeast Indianapolis, the Call 6 Investigators found summer camp activities drawing groups of children to the park near the exact spot where arrests were being made. Dozens of other park visitors were typically seen walking their pets or riding bicycles to enjoy the scenic wooded park.
"They don't expect to find people exposing themselves or engaged in sex acts. That's not what you expect when you come to a public park, nor should it be," said one undercover Vice Squad sergeant with the Indianapolis Metropolitan Police Department.
He said men who are "cruising" parks for illegal encounters often flash hand signals to alert approaching cars that they are looking to participate in the nude exchanges.
With hidden cameras, the Call 6 Investigators found some men backing their cars into secluded parking spots and then flashing the hand signals to approaching cars, as police had described. Men appeared to respond by pulling into neighboring parking spaces to discuss and arrange the particulars . . .Frequently, the men arrested in these embarrassing arrests are married men. Dean's story gives up the names and faces of some of those busted.