Wednesday, November 29, 2006
Carmel on the Case: Sin-tral Park Follow-up
A 7 News investigation first showed you the X-rated behavior going on in a South Florida park. At the time, the police chief said it would not be tolerated -- and now he's followed up with an undercover sting. Investigative Reporter Carmel Cafiero with the latest at "Sin-tral park." And we warn you this story involves adult subject matter.
WSVN -- Colohatchee Park in Wilton Manors has become infamous for the men who cruise here looking for sexual encounters.
Encounters sometimes witnessed by children and their parents.
There is so much sexual activity here that there are body fluids on the boardwalk.
Sixty-eight-year-old Frank Kocka got busted in what he describes as an unfair manner.
Frank Kocka: "Well, he sort of led me on."
Carmel Cafiero: "We've seen you here. We have video of you here repeated times. This isn't your first visit."
Frank Kocka: "It is my first visit that I actually did something -- honestly."
And what Kocka did -- according to the police report -- was, "...He unzipped his shorts and exposed his penis..."
He was charged with lewdness.
Carmel Cafiero: "So you've never done anything inappropriate before today?"
Frank Kocka: "Not in here, no."
Kocka was caught by undercover Wilton Manors police officers.
It didn't take them long to make other arrests.
Forty-three-year-old Richard Krebs was also charged with lewdness, although he claims he did nothing wrong.
Carmel Cafiero: "What did you offer to do?"
Richard Krebs: "I didn't offer to do anything."
But according to the police report, Krebs told the officer, "I'm willing to do anything for some money," and he "...Exposed himself and urinated on the boardwalk."
Carmel Cafiero: "Do you come to this park for sexual encounters?"
Richard Krebs: "Oh, no, of course not. I come here just to hang out."
Carmel Cafiero: "And enjoy the scenery?"
Richard Krebs: "Yes ma'am."
The police report on Isidro Sanchez's arrest shows he was charged with battery after he rubbed an officer's arm in "a sexually caressing manner."
Carmel Cafiero: "Are you a regular here at the park?"
Isidro Perez: "Umm, I don't want to say nothing."
Forty-nine-year-old Alan Breck was also charged with battery. In his case, the undercover police officer wrote, "Breck grabbed my penis though my shorts..."
Alan Breck: "I am very concerned. I would never do this again, and I didn't mean to do this in the first place. I never had this happen to me in my whole life."
The arrests back up the behavior 7 News documented in our investigation earlier this month.
Day after day, we found men coming to the park looking for sex -- and many of them, getting it.
Carmel Cafiero: "On this day, Wilton Manors made four arrests. But Operation "Get A Room" is far from over. The Chief says he will have undercover officers here as often as it takes to make Colohatchee Park family-friendly."
But Chief Richard Perez says the enforcement action is not about sexual preferences -- it's about quality of life issues.
Chief Richard Perez: "Well, the city of Wilton Manors is putting a great deal of resources into the park to make it more family-oriented, and it doesn't make any sense to do all those resources and then have it turned over to become a cruising area. That's not what this is all about."
The men caught in the sting were charged with misdemeanor offenses, so they may face nothing more than a fine.
But there could be professional or personal repercussions.
Are you concerned about the impact of this arrest now?
"What are you concerned about?"
All the men were also given trespassing warnings, and if they show up at the park again, the city says they'll be arrested again.