Oklahoma City police arrested 16 men this week during a four-day sting aimed at addressing homosexual activity at a Lake Hefner public park. Those arrested on misdemeanor lewd-acts complaints ranged in age from 20 to 61. Homosexual activity at Hobie Point, on the south side of the lake, is a problem police have battled for more than a decade. In 1999, then-Police Capt. Charles Allen told Oklahoman reporters the problem was one officers had to address every year as warm weather drew more people to the lake. Ten years later, police admit they can’t physically stop the men from going to Hobie Point any more than they can stop prostitutes from frequenting areas along S Robinson. What police can do is try to maintain an atmosphere that will deter this kind of activity, police Sgt. Jennifer Wardlow said. "I can’t say whether five years from now whether it will be the same,” Wardow said. "We are proactive in our approach in trying to eliminate this.” Despite the arrests and the site’s reputation, Wardlow said people don’t need to avoid the area. "We want them to be able to go there and take their family and not have to worry about this kind of activity,” she said. "And we are pleased to be able to take these individuals off the streets.”
How crime is foughtMaster Sgt. Gary Knight said Hobie Point isn’t the only area where police get complaints, but whenever officers get complaints of men engaging in lewd acts in public, the typical response is to send in undercover officers. "This involves men showing up there by themselves, meeting other men and having some type of sexual contact, basically out in the open, either in their cars or stepping into a wooded area, still where people could see it,” he said. "That’s not something you want going on.” While sending uniformed officers to patrol the park might deter activity while the officer is present, Knight said, it doesn’t really identify problems at the park. "When we go in an undercover capacity, we are much more likely to identify who is engaging in lewd acts, and we can make an arrest,” Knight said.
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SuspectsArrested this week at the lake were: Calvin Wright, 44. Juan Bravo, 30. Roger Clark, 44. Keith Hood, 40. William Spradling. Johnnie Hopkins, 54. Kevin Le, 38. Eiven Endecott, 61. Martin Rodriguez, 43. Christian Anderson, 37. Lam Hi, 46. Reza Aryan, 47. Dwight Colbert, 53. Darrel Sutton, 43. Dennis Gregson, 55. Christopher Conklin, 20.