Longform

C'mon, Get Happy

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"They wanted two things," the man says. "First, they said, 'Tell me somebody who can sell me some tina,' " slang for crystal methamphetamine. If he could, they wouldn't arrest him. "And the second thing, they said, 'Are you part of those fags that were protesting the mayor?' "

Although one of the cops was nice, he says, another told him that he has two kids, and if he ever saw a gay man masturbating near his child, he'd take a baseball bat to his head.

The police report differs slightly from the defendant's account. It suggests that the man was masturbating with his window open before police started talking to him. And despite the man's insistence that no kids were around due to the earlier thunderstorm, the police squeezed in a sentence at the bottom of the report that echoes the mayor's concern: "It should be noted children were at play in this park."

The officer also wrote that the detectives "were in an undercover capacity in Holiday Park to combat lewd and lascivious behavior."

A public information officer at the Police Department said there was no recent increase in such efforts.

For a $25 bond, the man says, he spent 30 hours detained.

"Maybe I was stupid," he said. "Maybe I was naive."

He is not political, he said. But was he aware of Naugle's recent complaints about gay sex in public places, and the protests?

Oh yeah, he said — "Flush Whatever-His-Name-Is."

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Deirdra Funcheon