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Lawyer: Cop Targets Gay Man in Creve Coeur Park With False Indecent Exposure Arrest

Categories: Crime, LGBT, News

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A male undercover cop with the Maryland Heights Police Department may be chatting up gay men in Creve Coeur Park with the explicit intention of falsely accusing them of indecent exposure and arresting them.

So says St. Louis attorney Albert Watkins who claims that an undercover officer last month targeted one of his male clients and arrested him for allegedly exposing himself -- based on a totally fabricated accusation.

Daily RFT has confirmed that the man was taken in for indecent exposure, but cannot get any more official details from police about the incident. That's because the case is closed and the charges have since been dropped -- a fact that Watkins says only supports his suspicions that the cop may been unlawfully citing men in the park who've done absolutely nothing wrong.

"This is about as noble of a law-abiding citizen that you'll find," Watkins says of the near-middle-aged man arrested for indecent exposure, who wishes to remain anonymous.

According to Watkins, this man, who is gay, drove to Creve Coeur Lake in June to go for a run and when he was parking his car in the nearby lot, a man approached him and they began talking.

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Creve Coeur Lake.

Watkins says the two made small talk during a very short conversation -- and his client told the man that he was there to go for a run. The man then went to use the bathroom and change before jogging.

As he was exiting a stall, the man who had approached him earlier was standing there and made a surprising remark, Watkins says.

"'You showed me your dick,'" the man, who revealed himself to be an undercover Maryland Heights policeman, allegedly told him.

"'What are you talking about?'" the man replied, according to Watkins. "'Are you kidding me? I was in a stall.'"

"He proceeds to write up a completely fabricated report," Watkins says.

Watkins alleges that the cop then arrested his client and took him in where he was forced to wait for three hours.

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After his client said, "I didn't do it.... You know this," the cop replied, "Well that's not what the report is going to say," Watkins says.

Watkins says this kind of police behavior is always very concerning. "Anytime you've got a cop who's done this once, it's never once."

The man had to pay a $500 bond and was given a court date of July 25 from the Maryland Heights Police Department -- both facts confirmed in a bond note Watkins shared with us. The document also confirms that the written charge was "sexual indecent exposure."

A few weeks later, however, Watkins learned that the charge was dropped and that the case would not be prosecuted (also confirmed in a court document Daily RFT reviewed advising the man to make arrangements to pick up his bond).

The police department tells us that the case in question is closed and is thus no longer a public record.

The assistant prosecutor who formally decided not to prosecute the case declined to comment to Daily RFT.

Steve Osterloh, a spokesman for the police department, says that police will respond to complaints of inappropriate sexual activity -- and that they do target parks and other places known as possible meetup sites for illicit behavior.

"We get complaints from people that men are exposing themselves or having sex," he says, explaining that officers will sometimes respond with sting operations.

Do the undercover cops show up and seek out potential targets?

"We don't actively approach people," he replies. "They usually approach us."

Oserloh adds of the cop's charge in this case, "He wouldn't have said something like that unless it was true.... He would not have said the man exposed himself if he hadn't."

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Al Watkins.

Watkins, however, questions why the charges were dropped if police believe this was true.

"If my client did what the policeman accused him of doing, my client should be charged," Watkins says, arguing that this could be a rogue officer who, for whatever reason, is making these kinds of false arrests.

The department may at least have proper checks and balances in place that resulted in the case being dropped, he adds.

In this case, Watkins argues, his client's civil rights were violated, given that police held him on false accusations. He adds, "Once you have those entrusted to serve and protect feeling they are no longer subject to the very rules they are supposed to enforce, you've got a problem."

Send feedback and tips to the author. Follow Sam Levin on Twitter at @SamTLevin.

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26 comments
danknoll15
danknoll15

It's a legit arrest or not, I do not know..but the police seem to be cracking down on gay/bi/curious men who are using the park as a meeting ground to either hook up there, or go someplace else...it's clearly done to intimidate those who 'cruise parks' looking for gay encounters..sadly though, this behavior- the cruising parks for sex has existed literally for hundreds of years...hopefully, gay men will fell that they no longer have to search out partners and have actual sex in public places,,

Justice Rising
Justice Rising

hahahaha, go get em big guy and don't drop the soap.

Chandra Harris
Chandra Harris

and yet another reason to stay the hell out of Maryland Heights ...

Valerie Perrotta Klipfel
Valerie Perrotta Klipfel

The upper park, in particular, has for a long time had problems with adult males pulling up, meeting and then disappearing into the restrooms or wooded area for short periods, and then shortly afterwards leaving. We observed one individual leaving with probably 20 drive up males in the time we were attempting to have a family picnic. When one of our two young sons stated he needed to use the restroom, we as parents observed so much "activity" going on we could not let him use it and had to leave. Like any other form of prostitution, I am glad they are taking action so that others can enjoy the park as it is intended.

JJ O'Brand
JJ O'Brand

Wont get a cent from me either, sales tax or anything... Which sucks, bc I always liked Mr G down by 711 on Marine...

Pat Campbell
Pat Campbell

the real question is: how does he know the men are homosexuals? ...hmmm...

Prince Ali B. Leezy
Prince Ali B. Leezy

oh wow, this is the story... maryland heights been targeting blacks for the longest!

Steve Mincer
Steve Mincer

""Anytime you've got a cop who's done this once, it's never once." " yet...they have no proof that he's done it more than once.

Dave Muser
Dave Muser

Maryland Heights is a horrible city with a "small town" concept police force, that definitely targets anything that's not white or completely "right" in their eyes. I do not go anywhere near MH because of this.

Nikki Lupia
Nikki Lupia

I don't know if you can call it a "habit" since it was one isolated incident...

Tony Merklin
Tony Merklin

That wouldn't Surprise Me at All........Maryland Heights

Jim Marciano
Jim Marciano

havent there been like 50 something murders in stl this year, i wonder if they have anything better to do

Galin Rizov
Galin Rizov

because cameras are so expensive ......to verify the cop's story

smdrpepper
smdrpepper

Looks like a witch hunt to me. 

Couch Pig
Couch Pig

maryland heights has been free casing people for years nothing new there they also find drugs on people who dont do drugs?

dalediversity
dalediversity topcommenter

Many gays like to do this sort of thing, from what I have been told

danknoll15
danknoll15

I guess what I was trying to say, was that this arrest is getting publicity in an attempt to scare away other gay men from using the park inappropriately ...( as far as all parks go, and CC park as well, I could care less what people do after dark there..

stanfordalan
stanfordalan

@dalediversity You've been told wrong. I don't know what your source is, but it needs to change. This isn't even remotely common.

danknoll15
danknoll15

@dalediversity very few do, actually, it's shameful and considered gross to even consider it..some of these "gay men", most all probably, lead straight lives of pretense..

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