Caught in the act: Authorities crack down on misconduct in parks
By ROBIN BROWN • The News Journal • May 11, 2010
John McDerby's black truck rolls slowly on a gravel road, flanked by the lush green growth of the Chesapeake & Delaware Canal Wildlife Area.
In the tranquil southern New Castle County park, McDerby says the last thing he wants to see is older men having sex, but the state Division of Fish & Wildlife corporal is on the lookout.
This spring saw an unusual surge in sex-related arrests in public lands statewide. Recent stings led to nearly a dozen arrests in a Dover park and the 5,178-acre canal area, where Senior Cpl. Jeff Howell said, "it's a very big problem."
One man from the Townsend area was arrested in both places.
Fish & Wildlife officers, even in marked trucks, have caught men having sex between parked vehicles, in woods, on pull-offs and by the road.
They have stopped men in vehicles wearing no pants and found cast-off sex toys, clothes and pornography.
Patrolling the canal by boat, they've seen people having sex on docks, piers, the shore and off roads in full view of families out in boats.
"It's flagrant," Howell said.