Investigator: Rangers cracking down on public indecency

10:44 PM, Sep 19, 2011   |    comments
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NORTHEAST OHIO -- Rangers in the Cleveland Metroparks consider it their number one priority, and arrest records back up their claim.

Rangers are on pace to arrest 33 percent more people this year for public indecency than last year. In the first eight months of this year, rangers busted 40 people, the same amount they did in all of last year.

"We have a zero tolerance for it," said Lieutenant Sean Flanigan. "If you have kids or grandchildren, would you want to see that from a stranger?"

Public indency includes sexual activity, masturbating and urinating in public. Flanigan believes additional undercover and plain clothes details have led to an increased number of arrests.

"We're not going to put up with it. We take it very seriously," Flanigan said.

Those who use the more than 20,000 acres of park land for all the right reasons support the aggressive attitude toward public indecency. 

"I've got kids. I don't want my 11-year-old watching someone masturbate in the park," said lawyer Jack Corrigan, who was preparing to jog on one of the many wooded trails.

Lt. Flanigan says he's arrested all types for public indecency, including, clergy, CEO's, high-ranking public officials and even members of his own profession. 

Just this month, Cuyahoga County Sheriff's deputy Paul Lawrence, 32, was arrested for masturbating in his car in the parking lot of the Big Met golf course in the Rocky River Reservation.

Lawrence, a deputy since 2008, was placed on paid leave.

Sharon Kretschmer supports the crackdown on sexual deviants.

"It's disturbing.  It's not a victimless crime.  It leaves an impression of uncleanliness on the children," she said.


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