Friday, May 11, 2001

Caesar Creek put on alert

Gay cruise spot under surveillance; 14 people arrested

By Janice Morse
The Cincinnati Enquirer

        MASSIE TOWNSHIP — Caesar Creek State Park is trying to eliminate its reputation as a gay cruise spot.

        Park rangers on Thursday said they had arrested 14 people during a sweep of the park's Fifty Springs Picnic Area, an area listed on the Web site as a “cruise spot” with an “action rating” of 4 — a notch below “hot.”

        “Rangers will patrol the (parking) lot occasionally,” a posting on the site warns. “They know what goes on, but don't bust people that often unless they see it.”

        But, over the past several weeks, the park has been cracking down.

        “They must not have updated that (Web site) yet,” said Chuck Thiemann, park manager and senior officer in the 9,700-acre park that spans Warren, Greene and Clinton counties.

        During the past three weeks, park rangers spent two days a week in plainclothes, concentrating on snaring offenders on charges of public indecency, importuning (making offensive same-sex propositions) and sexual imposition, Mr. Thiemann said.

        The sweep was in response to dozens of complaints from park users who unwittingly witnessed the activities, he said.

        The charges are misdemeanors, but two of the suspects are also accused of fleeing and eluding. The alleged offenders might find the charges particularly embarrassing, Mr. Thiemann said, because the typical person arrested was a white, middle-aged, married man. Many came from adjacent counties; one, from out of state.

        A compilation of the reports was not immediately available Thursday afternoon, Mr. Thiemann said.

        Although the sweep officially ended Thursday, Mr. Thiemann said rangers would continue to be on the lookout for illegal sex acts, no matter who commits them.

        “We're totally neutral about their sexual orientation,” he said, adding that rangers will be just as aggressive about busting heterosexual couples engaged in intimate acts in public.


Luken: Taste fest will go on
FBI investigating hate crimes
Roach case illustrates levels of homicides
Jammin' on Main acts jump river
RADEL: Lynch protests
Track drives tourism boom
Driving to Destin? Take more cash
Hearts in the hills
- Caesar Creek put on alert
Coalition developing plans to expand backup child care
Crack house to dream house
Draud: Timing not right for run
Energy policy raising coal revival hopes
Foal deaths begin to drop; cause unknown
Independence, fired chief settle
Inmate before Ohio's high court
Judge sees 3 of his former law clerks on TV's 'Millionaire'
Labor groups join for state workers
Lawsuit seeks damages for dog
Message: Stay off the tracks
Old cemetery has development stymied
Powers Street bridge opens today
Prevailing wage law reviewed
Protest leader's father receives threats
Talawanda assistant up for top job
Teens charged in S&L heists
Wife sues after husband wins $250K, disappears
Witnesses agree with officer's shooting story
Kentucky News Briefs
Tristate A.M. Report