Now Reading
18 men arrested in police blitz at public parks in Florida

18 men arrested in police blitz at public parks in Florida

One of the men arrested in Volusia County, Florida. Photo: Supplied

A four-day sting by a local sheriff’s office resulted in the arrest of 18 men who they alleged were engaging in ‘lewd activity’.

Sheriff’s in Volusia County in east-central Florida conducted the sting called ‘Operation Park Hopper’.

County Sheriff Mike Chitwood said the operation was conducted after residents complained that because it was summer vacation more families would be using the parks.

‘If you insist in going in our parks and trails and engage in this type of despicable behavior you may find yourself in handcuffs,’ Chitwood told a media conference.

‘It’s important that we set the tone that our parks and trails are safe for families.’

Undercover officers would head to the local beats and wait to be approached by men. According to the News Journal, police alleged the men would start talking about sex. They would allegedly. touch the officers’, expose themselves or masturbate.

17 of the men were arrested and charged with indecent exposure in public and committing lewd acts, according to arrest records.

Two of  them men were also charged with battery, while one man was charged only with battery.

The majority of the men were ‘middle aged’, but one man was 28 and the oldest was 78.

One of the men was a 75-year-old [Gay Star News has decided not to publish their names or photos] who allegedly told an undercover deputy he should be careful because he had heard ‘about guys being arrested’ in the area.