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LAPD cracking down on lewd acts in parks

March 12, 2010 12:00:00 AM PST
Los Angeles Police Department officers are cracking down on ongoing lewd conduct in large urban parks.Officers said the number of complaints from park visitors have been on the rise at Elysian Park, Griffith Park and Sycamore Grove. Many people said they have seen people in the parks engaged in public sexual activity, which increases the risk of spreading sexually transmitted diseases.

Many participants have been arrested frequently and are typically men engaging in homosexual activity.

A video provided by the Los Angeles Police Department that was shot during an undercover sting operation showed the grounds of Elysian Park littered with dozens of used condoms. Officers ended up arresting three men who were engaged in lewd conduct.

"Very typically these are married man who do not identify themselves as gay," said Diaz.

The LAPD says they are not targeting the gay community but anyone who chooses to have sex in public parks.

"Gay, straight, bi or whatever sexual orientation they are is not our concern. Our concern is to stop this activity or at least an attempt to abate it."

Though the activity has been occurring for many years, Los Angeles Police are especially concerned about a recent trend in which participants are targeted for robbery and assault by local gang members.

Through increased investigations and warnings of physical risks to participants, officers hope to decrease the occurrence of these activities.

A lewd conduct arrest is a misdemeanor charge. The LAPD said there have been 90 arrests in Elysian Park since January.