From the “Having Solved All Other Crime” Files

Friday, December 28th, 2007

Oh, come on.

Robin Garrison, an off-duty 42-year-old firefighter, was walking in Berliner Park in Columbus, Ohio, in May when he saw a woman sunbathing topless under a tree.

He approached her and they started talking and getting comfortable, the woman smiling and resting her foot on his shoulder at one point.

Eventually, she asked to see Garrison’s penis; he unzipped his pants and complied.

Seconds later, undercover police officers pulled up in a van and arrested Garrison; he was later charged with public indecency, a misdemeanor, based on video footage taken by cops who were targeting men having sex or masturbating in the park. While topless sunbathing is legal in the city’s parks, exposing more than that is against the law.

Good to know Columbus police are on the case.

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20 Responses to “From the “Having Solved All Other Crime” Files”

  1. #1 |  Jerri Lynn Ward | 

    This is a horrifying story and I’m not convinced that the guy even committed a crime. Here is the link to the Ohio Penal Code: http://codes.ohio.gov/orc/2907.09

    Here is the wording:

    (A) No person shall recklessly do any of the following, under circumstances in which the person’s conduct is likely to be viewed by and affront others who are in the person’s physical proximity and who are not members of the person’s household:

    (1) Expose the person’s private parts;

    I seriously doubt that anyone was close enough to have likely viewed the exposure in this situation–except for the person who asked for and consented to viewing his private part.

    As a prudish, conservative Christian, I have to ask myself what kind of woman police officer would volunteer herself to aid in corrupting her fellow man by tempting him into lewd behavior.

  2. #2 |  the friendly grizzly | 

    Jerri: it would be a woman with the same mentality as her fellow cops who bust into AL and VFW posts to bust poker players. To her, being a cop is a power trip. In this case, mix in a bit of militant feminist, and there you are. She wants to castrate men, and this is as close as she will get.

  3. #3 |  David | 

    Topless Woman Lured Perverts in Police Sting
    Firefighter Busted for Exposing Himself to Sunbather Appeals ‘Entrapment’ Conviction

    The ABC headline doesn’t seem to be geared toward a particular viewpoint, does it? Does a guy being asked to take his dick out by an attractive girl who’s sitting there topless really rise to “pervert”. Maybe they’ve never been to a strip club and never witnesses the things that men will do at the request of topless girl. The police obviously have.

    FWIW, I understand that people masturbating and having sex in the park is a problem, but it’s one that could be solved by simply having a patrol around the park, and letting people know that they’ll be caught.

  4. #4 |  Marty | 

    Okay, so a grown man a woman(topless but legal there) in a park where kids and families play. Now, he is either so good looking that many women ask to see his penis after two minutes or he knows that this is a park that prostitution and sex take place on a regular basis. So he has no self control but to take out his penis in a public place and gets arrested for it. Too bad he didn’t blaze up a fatty while taking his dick out, he could have been a libertarian hero.

    I would bet that the reason why the cops are focused on this park i snot because they don’t have anything better to do but because the people that live there want this park cleaned up.

    The community does nto care about “real” crime they care about quality of life in many cases, loud music, groups of kids and clean parks where they can take their kids. The police went there because the local community that pays their salary wants them there.

    Now of course the stings may be stupid and I would just give lots of tickets and make arrests for various park rules but the people here would still complain.

  5. #5 |  CK | 

    Is she a police officer?
    Is she married?
    If she is, was she wearing her wedding ring?
    Did she ask for money or offer money for the “privates” showing?
    Honor and offer, honor and offer.

  6. #6 |  Bryan | 

    Wait…which park was it that allows topless sunbathing again?

  7. #7 |  Tom G | 

    Marty -

    Yes, a guy who will whip it out in public simply at the request of a woman is very stupid.
    But do any of the newspaper articles about this incident mention what you suggest, that the park has been a problem for awhile and the police are responding to a community needing it cleaned up? There have been certain parks around the upstate New York region I live in that have a bad reputation, and the papers mention it when it’s relevant.
    It does seem like a TOTAL waste of money and time to be encouraging perverts – the real ones don’t need to be coaxed.

  8. #8 |  Scott Morgan | 

    Making it legal to show people your penis in the park would take all the fun out of it.

  9. #9 |  Marty | 

    The only two articles that I read do not mention if the park is a problem. Knowing how things work in some places the police respond to complaints. It could be that there are complaints of people always blowign a stop sign at a certain intersection or people have sex in a park, which includes some havign to step on used condoms etc.

    So, Tom I don’t know based on the article and you are right I am just making and educated guess.

  10. #10 |  Michael | 

    Heck, the firefighter or his family could have been the ones complaining! No one knows whether or not this was the first time for him! It sounds like entrapment to me. I guess we will see how the courts and the police state handle this, now. I think the women’s topless sun bathing is just asking for trouble! The people who allowed that needs some common sense. Allow one type of sexual exposure, and others behaviors will, naturally, follow! The people should, also, be complaining about the topless sun bathing!! Are they nuts?!

  11. #11 |  Happy Jack | 

    clean parks where they can take their kids.

    If the parents don’t have a problem with the kiddies catching a glimpse of titty, why is a penis so horrifying?

  12. #12 |  Marty | 

    WHo says parents are not complainnig about about topless women. I guess that the lliberals and libertarians won in the courts so, there is now way to prevent that at this point.

    I guess I do see the diference though with a woman showing her breast and actual sex acts in the park. Crazy statist that I am. Slippery slope to statism.

    I don’t want drugs and sex acts in a public park. Where you live, if you enjoy crack heads and prsotitutes in your park by all means have at it.

  13. #13 |  Libertario | 

    Public Parks!!! Aren’t libertarians supposed to be upset about *that*? Seriously, without private property, we must have one-size-fits-all rules, whereas in a truly free society we could have private nudist parks, private clothed parks, private parks with music, private parks only for white people, etc. We would have a proliferation of institutions to do deal with different segments of society and their values.

  14. #14 |  Christoph | 

    While I personally don’t have a problem with nudity, I also understand and respect the law. The woman apparently was not an agent of the police. So when a random woman asks you to commit a crime, exposing one’s genitals in public, the police — if they see the crime in public — are right to make an arrest and it is their duty to do so.

    His punishment for the crime was fairly minor: a year’s probation and a $250 fine. He ain’t going away for life.

  15. #15 |  Christoph | 

    Oh — afterthought. If the police, responding to public complaints of men having sex and masturbating in a park, didn’t arrest a man who took out his penis, that would be pretty negligent on their part, wouldn’t it?

  16. #16 |  First Little Pig | 

    The article implies that the woman was not an agent of the state, but I have my doubts. Women do not commonly ask men to whip it out, particularly in public… There must be more to the story. Perhaps he was bragging about his package, or maybe she is in cahoots with the police and the real reason she sunbathes topless in the park is to encourage men to masturbate there.

    I suspect the latter.

  17. #17 |  Joel Rosenberg | 

    The police say that she wasn’t either an agent of them or acting unofficially on their behalf. While skepticism of police statements is appropriate, I don’t know of any reason to disbelieve the Columbus police in this.

    People do, after all, do strange things without being under the direction of the cops.

    Were it the vest pocket park near my house, and were the sorts of goings-on going on there that the news stories say were going on in this Columbus park (public sex and masturbation), I’d want the cops to use lawful and appropriate means to shut it down, and if there was already a nude sunbather regularly there who could be staked out (so to speak) as part of that, that’d be fine with me.

    Too NIMBY? I don’t think so.

  18. #18 |  Joel Rosenberg | 

    That said, I’m informed by somebody who has seen the tape that a: the woman was “sunbathing” in the shade, and b: didn’t seem to react with surprise when the police rolled up.

    If somebody were to get ahold of the tape (it’s available under the Ohio public records law) and Youtube it, that might save some other folks a few steps.

    Very curious.

  19. #19 |  UnIrWe | 

    “Good to know Columbus police are on the case.”

    More appropo, “Good to know Columbus police created the case…”

  20. #20 |  You All Disgust Me | 

    What part of “Serve and Protect” is unclear?…

    Seconds later, undercover police officers pulled up in a van and arrested Garrison; he was later charged with public indecency, a misdemeanor, based on video footage taken by cops who were targeting men having sex or masturbating in the park.

    …In a…

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