Indecent Exposure in Area Parks

Indecent Exposure in Area Parks
By: CJ Cassidy

Cape Girardeau, MO -I
t's a disturbing problem that hit some of
C
ape
G
irardeau's biggest parks in recent years.

M
en lurking in or near park bathrooms
,
hoping to engage strangers in illegal sexual activity.

A
recent arrest at
K
iwanis
P
ark has some wondering what's next.

P

olice got an anonymous tip someone was exposing himself in one of the park
's
bathrooms
, so
undercover officers checked it out
,
and the handwriting on the wall led them right to their suspect
.

"The

writing indicated that
someone was
looking for a sexual encounter
on that date," Patrolman Jason Selzer with the Cape Girardeau Police Department says.

W
hen police didn't find their suspect inside the restroom
,
they went outside.

"Officers

noticed
a
vehicle
that had
pulled up
, so they
made contact
with the
person
and found they
had written
the
message
. They
went inside
the restroom with him and he
further indicated
he was
looking for sexual activity
," Selzer says.

P
olice arrested 40
-
year
-
old
G
ary
H
inton, a school bus driver
based out of
C
ape
G
irardeau.
H
inton's since been issued a summons by the city for indecent exposure.

"W

e did see some of this in
the
late nineties and in 2002 and 2003 we did operations to where several people were caught
," police say.

S
elzer calls the
K
iwanis
P
ark incident an isolated one
,
but administrators at a Christian daycare across from the park can't believe it happened
,
especially right in the middle of the day.

"W

e have church activities there
, and we're
concerned there maybe activities taking place there may endanger kids or expose them to something they don't need to see
," Denise R
oop
with Wee Care Daycare says. She
hopes her students can continue to use the park for field trips
,
but says
she and her teachers plan on staying extra vigilant.

"W

e don't have a lot of males on staff
,
so female teachers who are very responsible
may
have to take boys in to girl's restro
om," Roop says.

P
olice ask you to keep an eye out as well.
T
hey say if you notice any suspicious activity in a park
,
call them at once, and rest assured you can stay anonymous.