Tuesday June 6, 2023
SNc Channels:

About Salem-News.com


May-15-2007 14:40printcomments

Undercover Operation in Polk County's Holman Wayside Park Leads to Several Arrests for Public Indecency

"This type of illegal behavior will not be tolerated."- Polk County Sheriff Bob Wolfe

Suspects arrested for sexually related crimes in Polk County, Oregon 51507
Suspects arrested for sexually related crimes in Polk County over the weekend
Photo courtesy: Dean Bender/Polk County Sheriff

(DALLAS, Ore.) - The Polk County Sheriff's Office conducted an undercover operation over the weekend, Saturday, May 12th and Sunday, May 13th, to address complaints of illegal sexual activity within the park.

Most of the complaints seemed to center around public indecency and Polk County Sheriff's Office Spokesman Dean Bender says it also involved men handling and displaying their genitals in the open and public masturbation.

He says the operation included the use of Detectives, Patrol Deputies and Reserve Deputies. Sheriff Bob Wolfe says he was very pleased with the outcome of the undercover operation and hopes the message gets out, "that this type of illegal behavior will not be tolerated."

Bender says the two day operation resulted in eight individuals being arrested and booked into the Polk County Jail. The names and charges are as follows:

53-year old Russel Hathaway

Resident of Salem, Oregon

Hathaway faces one count of Public Indeceny

62-year old Ronald Stewart

Resident of Salem

Stewart faces one count of First Degree Sex Abuse and one count of Harrassment

37-year old Darin Brink

Resident of Salem

Brink is charged with one count of Public Indecency

56-year old Robert Kansman

Resident of Salem

Kansam is charged with one count of Public Indecency

53-year old Ronald Bridge

Resident of Portland

Bridge faces one count of Public Indecency

57-year old Harry Nelson

Resident of Salem

Nelson faces one charge of Public Indecency

46-year old John Backus

Resident of Monmouth

Backus us chaged with one cout of Public Indecency

46-year old Steven M. Adams

Resident of Salem

Adams faces one count of Public Indecency

Polk County officials say they hope this sends a message to people who consider committing similar acts at Holman Park or other public areas in Polk County as well as the rest of Oregon. Locals say Holman Park is not known or regarded as a nudist area. People who live in the area say they have had increasing concerns over the behavior of men committing indecent acts while visiting the park.

Comments Leave a comment on this story.

All comments and messages are approved by people and self promotional links or unacceptable comments are denied.

Richard Head July 23, 2019 7:24 am (Pacific time)

Now where am I gonna get my freak on? Xml lol

Liz May 21, 2007 3:33 pm (Pacific time)

I agree that gays are not treated equally by much of society. I am sorry for that, and I hope that some day people will be less closed-minded and realize that a person's sexual preference does not define who the person is. I also find it inappropriate for anyone, gay or straight, to make sex public. I sometimes take my 3 year old daughter to that park, and would be horrified if I saw ANYONE doing it in their car. I am happy for those guys if they have found satisfying sexual relationships... but they need to meet somewhere private.

COTTON May 21, 2007 2:26 pm (Pacific time)


Albert Marnell May 20, 2007 4:48 pm (Pacific time)

Dewper, I said that most are. Read more carefully. The military is homophobic and that is policy. I never said that the activity did not need to be stopped. I question the broken law fiting punishment. I question the definition of decency. I have known many, many cops. I know how they think...most of them.

dewper May 20, 2007 2:26 pm (Pacific time)

Albert. You have just discriminated against the police officers by stating that they are all homophobs unless they are gay. You cannot make a statement like that and it be true unless you know them all individually. I know that nothing I can say will be right to you but I think you are jumping to conclusions without knowing all the facts. The point is, they were doing something indecent and it needed to be stopped! Regardless of thier race, gender or sexual orientation.

Albert Marnell May 20, 2007 1:26 am (Pacific time)

Dewper and John, Lamda Legal Defense and Education Fund may be able to clear things up for you. They put out something called "Little Black Book" which goes into detail about Rest Stop Arrests, Police Abuse, and the Gay and Lesbian Community. I do not know if the book is still available. It is free and is basically what it is called except with alot of facts about different instances including the one in the article. The truth is that straight and gay people are not EQUALLY targeted. This case would fall under "public lewdness laws", which target people who engage in, or solicit, sex outside the home. Whatever the laws themselves say, in practice they are routinely and wrongly associated mostly with same-sex sexual activity. It is rare that a man and a woman engaging in sexual fondling in a wooded area would be arrested by the police especially if the police knew by deducement that the female was not a prostitute. Lastly at least for now, there were no adults with children being "flashed". I agree that the behavior is inappropriate and technically illegal but I also know that over my lifetime the police never bothered the straight couples that were engaging in some sort of sexual contact in their cars or on a blanket in a wooded area. I feel that the men should be given a ticket but the over reaction to men with men is not rational and shows the prudery and learned selective aversion to visual things that in and of themselves pose no danger to anyone. An over reaction by a parent if a child happens to witness this can transfer the hysteria of the parent to the child. Children and none were mentioned in the story, normally look with curiosity or just laugh as I and all of my friends did when we were very young. Now I am remembering a woman that used to sun herself without her top on in the early sixties. All of the boys and girls would hide in the bushes to look for a long time and it would just amuse most of us and we would have laughs later. At puberty, many of the boys in my neighborhood would peer into the windows of teenage girls or adult women at nightime. This was wrong but no one was hurt. The culture has over-vilified these men. I wonder if it was dark? If so, who would care except people who are homophobic and certainly most police are except for the many gay officers. The fact that a sting operation was done may be the result of caving into the technical right of people to complain about this sort of thing be it rational or not. The police may have just been doing what some of the locals wanted, we do not know if these are homophobic people or if the police were looking for easy arrests to fill their unofficial arrest quotas. There use to be a large pier near the water where my father's business was. There were many police there and many teenagers engaging in sexual activity very obviously in their cars. The police left everyone alone and viewed it as a normal part of adolescence.

dewper May 19, 2007 8:42 pm (Pacific time)

I have a couple things to say. I don't believe that this is about homosexuality at all. I feel that these men were doing something inappropriate in a public place! I also know one of the men. He is where he is because of the choices he has made. They all are! If I had my children at a state park and a woman flashed me while I was in the park, you better believe that I would report it!!! I am sure that men and women both have been arrested for illegal sex acts straight, gay or bi.

John May 19, 2007 12:04 am (Pacific time)

Hey I know one of these guys and let me tell you, he is the nicest guy that would help anybody out. People make mistakes, but they were not hurting anyone. Sure he could have done it somewhere else but I still think the Polk County Deputies would have done nothing if it were between a man and a woman.

Vanessa Radakovich May 17, 2007 8:03 pm (Pacific time)

wow my school said that ronald (ross) bridge retiered I can not believe this wowee

Albert Marnell May 17, 2007 12:29 pm (Pacific time)

Bdud or Dumbo, Your insecurity is a sign that you may have suppressed homosexual impulses. See a therapist so that you can come to terms with your sexual conflicts.

Albert Marnell May 17, 2007 12:25 pm (Pacific time)

Buddy or Dumby, Read about human sexuality. "Normal" by Amy Bloom. The Hite Reports, Kinsey. You are really an idiot. Many gay people lead productive and happy lives and many are in powerful positions. You sound so educated that you must have just watched Pee Wee Herman's "Play With Yourself House."

Bdub May 16, 2007 11:14 pm (Pacific time)

"There are not enough places for gay and bisexual men to meet without fear of some of the reprecussions of being outed." Thank god!

Albert Marnell May 16, 2007 10:08 am (Pacific time)

Jack Ass, Go to the park and take notes and observe human behavior as Kinsey would. You do not have the brains to even think in those terms. It is called a non-judgemental observation which I was taught in 10th grade.

Albert Marnell May 16, 2007 10:05 am (Pacific time)

I think your comment is that of a jackass. It is not worth the time of day and neither are you. You are not able to process information. Ain't that right Rosenberg?

jack May 16, 2007 9:45 am (Pacific time)

get a life Albert, you don't know any of these men. Where do you get off saying that this is "free entertainment" You are a sick individual! People are known to make mistakes and you shouldn't be one to pass judgment! Maybe you should have been one to get arrested, since you'd seem to enjoy it so much. What do you think of that?

Albert Marnell May 16, 2007 12:31 am (Pacific time)

The people who reported this probably were homophobes or just your run-of-the-mill prudish Haus-Fraus. Nevertheless, they should have done it in a private place. They could meet there and exchange numbers but this "ILLEGAL ACTIVITY" is actually petty and kind of amusing. I love to see people doing it in public. It is cheaper than going to a downtown theater. All men are pigs let's face it and some women too....big deal! Let's enjoy being the pigs that we really are.

Albert Marnell May 16, 2007 12:18 am (Pacific time)

Please note: These are not pedophiles or male prostitutes. These guys could have been a little better groomed and had on their Sunday best for the photo-op. I used to go to a beach where this woman, Wendy, practically lived. The police gave her special privilege to be in an area of the beach that closed at a certain time but she would put up a tent. A few of the cops would give her a goo now and then and they were all friends together at the beach. Ahhh nature!

Albert Marnell May 15, 2007 11:54 pm (Pacific time)

Is this Rosenberg in disguise? The fact of the matter is that public lewdness laws are almost always invoked against sexual expression of gay and bi-sexual people---loitering, flirtation, solicitation and actual sexual encounters----outside of the home are almost exclusively enforced against people perceived to be gay. In all probability if a man and a woman are doing it in a car at night or even in the daytime, people give it a chuckle; as do the police, and at most the police will knock on the window to say knock it off; if they do anything at all. Use another time and place: a lovers' lane. The police know that people go there to "make-out" in their cars and heaving petting can lead to trouble and seat wetting; a little joke from Rocky Horror Picture Show. You are missing the point. Two gay men kissing in a public place will draw stares as interacial couples once did. Gay and straight public display of affection is not treated equally. If they were straight most police would be LESS likely to bother them. Do you see the difference? I do not know the specifics of this place or the time of occurence. As far as I am concerned, whatever takes place in a dark car in a park and ride is not public and it takes alot of effort for voyeurs to see what is going on in a darkened area of the inside of a vehicle. Of course the cops may bother straights having basic pleasures in a car or elsewhere but the attitude is different unless the cop is gay or bi-sexual. I do not advocate that people do things in public places not because it is wrong or against the law. Laws change, nature does not. I would prefer that this consensual sex be done in private to protect the people engaging in it from discrimination and the legal penalties. I personally used to go camping, walk trails and such and if I saw a man and a woman screwing, it would not bother me. When I was a kid, it did not bother the other kids; we looked as much as possible including the girls. So before I go way off track. Is there equal treatment of gay and straight with public displays of affection; absolutely not. Should people be screwing in the middle of the highway? Personally I do not care but I do to a point respect those that do. I find it more disgusting to see people eating like pigs at a picnic table than to see two adults screwing or whatever. I lean more toward the "so what, big deal" point of view on this one. If it is broad daylight and prudish women scream about the children (who really laugh at this stuff until Mom freaks out), then it is best that adults have dinner for two or three and come to my place. We are not talking about prostitution here; which by the way I fully believe should be legal. People would be welcome to have sex in my home as long as there is no exchange of money because right now prostitution is illegal (unfortunately and stupidly). People would have to clean up the mess they make in my home and wash the sheets plus give me some monetary compensation for rent...like a motel....and it would not be cheap because these days I am going for the big bucks Baby!

They can meet at your house Albert! May 15, 2007 10:46 pm (Pacific time)

How can you say if they were "straight" no cop would bother them? The people who reported this illegal activity to police must be homophobes also. What a poor uneducated statement that was Albert!

Albert Marnell May 15, 2007 8:36 pm (Pacific time)

One thing that I do know. If homosexuality or bisexuality was not considered by too many as something to hide, these men could have met in another place and engaged in appropriate public behavior. There are not enough places for gay and bisexual men to meet without fear of some of the reprecussions of being outed. I also know that if this was a lover's lane with straight people essentially screwing in their cars in the dark....no cop would bother. I do not advocate people having sex in open parks in daylight. If they do it at night and as we know, children and young people should not be in wooded areas at night....I say big deal. The only other problem I have is that these men are endangering themselves from homophobes and pickpockets. There have to be places where gay and bi men can meet without fear and then go someplace either for a potential relationship or just to bump uglies as straight people do. My suggestion to these guys is to meet in the park but go to a motel or your homes to do whatever rings your chimes.

[Return to Top]
©2023 Salem-News.com. All opinions expressed in this article are those of the author and do not necessarily reflect those of Salem-News.com.

Articles for May 14, 2007 | Articles for May 15, 2007 | Articles for May 16, 2007

Annual Hemp Festival & Event Calendar

Special Section: Truth telling news about marijuana related issues and events.

Click here for all of William's articles and letters.

Tribute to Palestine and to the incredible courage, determination and struggle of the Palestinian People. ~Dom Martin