• Gay Man Acquitted in John Lloyd Park Case

    From tseachor@gmail.com@21:1/5 to All on Thu May 9 07:39:51 2019
    On Friday, June 27, 2003 at 5:51:17 PM UTC-5, JJ wrote:
    SAA Picnic Held at Park; No Harassment
    Phil LaPadula

    A local gay man who was cited for indecent exposure while sitting on a
    beach at John Lloyd State Park in a white swimsuit has been found not
    guilty after defending himself in a Hollywood court.

    Judge Lee Jay Seidman declared Tracy Faulkner, a registered nurse, not
    guilty of two counts of indecent exposure after examining the swimsuit
    and hearing testimony from Faulkner and the arresting officer, David G.
    Pius. In his citation, Pius said the swimsuit was “less than fully opaque.”

    “I am thankful to live in a country where a regular person can defend himself against injustice and win,” Faulkner said. “I am also grateful
    to the bailiff, who followed us to the parking lot to congratulate me.
    She said more people should stand up for themselves. And I am most
    thankful to Judge Lee Jay Seidman for his fairness and patience.”

    Faulkner is one of nine gay men who attended a meeting at the Law
    Offices of Kent and Cormican on June 10 to discuss the possibility of a class-action suit against park officers who have been accused of
    targeting gay men and falsely accusing them of violations at John U.
    Lloyd Park. Kent and Cormican have the names of 15 gay men who are
    willing to testify in a possible class-action suit that they were
    harassed and/or falsely accused of violations by officers in the park.
    One of the men at the meeting, Nunaz Guerra of Hollywood, said he was
    falsely accused of engaging in sex on the beach. Guerra said he was
    standing on John Lloyd beach talking to another man when an officer
    came up and shined a flashlight on him. Guerra said the officer asked
    to see his ID. Guerra said he asked the officer, “What’s going on?” The
    officer then told him that he was under arrest for engaging in oral
    sex. Guerra said he was shocked. “We were just standing and talking,”
    he said. “If I had done that and gotten caught, I would have admitted it,” he said. “We were both standing. The other person would have had
    to be on his knees to do that.”
    Another man at the meeting, Jose Mendoza, has pled not guilty to a
    charge of sitting “in a restricted area” on John Lloyd beach. Mendoza
    said he was sitting about 20 feet from the water on a sand dune above a ledge. Like several other gay men charged with the same violation,
    Mendoza said he had no idea he was doing anything wrong. “The park has been completely negligent about informing people about this restricted area,” he said. His trial has been rescheduled for June 23.
    J. Luis Jimenez, said he was stopped by Officer David G. Pius, the same officer involved in the swimsuit case, and Officer D. Jones while
    jogging through the park on a trail. Jimenez said Officer Jones told
    him, “This doesn’t look like a restricted are, but it really is.”
    According to Jimenez, the officers asked to see his ID. After he told
    them it was in his car, the officers followed him back to the car,
    searched his car and searched a backpack in the car, Jimenez
    said. “They kept asking me questions,” he said. At one point, Jimenez
    said the officers asked if he had urinated in the area. “When someone passed on the trail, they asked me if I knew him,” Jimenez said. “I
    said, ‘No, he waved at you.’” The officers gave him a warning for being
    in “a restricted area” and left.

    Jimenez, who teaches environmental studies at a local college, said, “I have traveled all around the world to national parks, and whenever
    there are restricted areas, there are always signs.” He added, “I have
    seen [the park officers drive vehicles all over the protected
    vegetation. They are disturbing the ecosystem.”
    Rodger Stamp, a Hollywood resident, contacted The Express last week and
    said he has witnessed harassment and false arrests at John U. Lloyd
    Park and been targeted himself. “I saw a guy on the beach take off his shorts,” Stamp said. “He had a bathing suit under the shorts. Officer
    Jones came up to him and told him he was under arrest for masturbating
    on the beach.”
    Stamp said an officer once stopped him along a trail and asked to see
    his ID. “He told me I was in a ‘high sex-crime area’ and that I wasn’t
    supposed to be there,” Stamp said. “I wasn’t doing anything wrong; I
    was just walking on the nature trails.”
    Stamp said the majority of people he sees having sex on the beach are heterosexual couples. He said he once saw a couple on the beach.
    According to Stamp, the woman was wearing no top and a thong bathing
    The Express faxed a list of eight questions to the Lucia Ross, media
    and public relations spokesperson for the Florida Department of
    Environmental Protection, Division of Law Enforcement, more than two
    weeks ago. She promised to give them to Major Elwood Stevens, bureau
    chief of the park patrol. On June 7, Ross told The Express that the department was “drafting a response.” The Express still has not received any response. The department has also declined repeated
    requests from The Express to talk with the officers involved in the incidents.
    Meanwhile, the Sunshine Athletic Association (SAA), a local gay group,
    held its annual picnic at John U. Lloyd park last weekend. About 100
    members of the group showed up, and there were apparently no incidents, according to Andy Eddy, an SAA member. “Some people called and were afraid to go, but nothing happened,” Eddy said. In fact, he said the park officers on duty that day “were very nice. They came around and emptied the trash.”

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