GPW: Self-Tempered Anarchy since 2009

Your GPW Editor-on-Occasion is Petra Fried in the City.
Send us your stories, ideas, and information. Insiders welcome - confidentiality guaranteed.

stories along The Way

Tuesday, August 18, 2009

Craig's List Enables Lewd Conduct in Griffith Park, others

WARNING: some explicit discussion in the following article.

Look under Craig's List personals, specifically "men seeking men", and you'll find the dates, time, and locations of many a daily sexual rendezvous in Griffith Park.

(photos too, so reader beware.)

This activity is called 'lewd conduct' in police-speak, and it is totally illegal. And for some reason, no one really wants to talk about this pervasive negative impact to our parks. Yet the activity is both a mental health and physical health threat to children and families who come to LA's parks.

Lewd conduct has negatively impacted many city parks, especially Griffith Park, for decades. Speaking frankly now, the majority of the lewd conduct perpetrators are males who, for some unknown reason, find the thrill of anonymous sex in a city park simply too addictive to ignore. These males show up day after day in Griffith Park in picnic areas, near playgrounds, and in flammable brush engaging in sexual acts, prostitution, abusive or violent behavior, drug and alcohol use and sales, littering, and smoking. They leave behind dangerous bio hazards such as bodily fluids, used condoms, sex toys, and drug paraphernalia which any child at play, pet, animal, or - in the case of a wildfire - an unlucky firefighter may come into contact with.

In fact, the vast majority of fires in Griffith Park are caused by males lighting up a cigarette after this illegal activity.

The Department of Recreation and Parks has made attempts at controlling this problem for what seems like forever. They closed off the interior roads in Griffith Park for this reason in the late 1980s. Unfortunately, places like Fern Dell, Zoo Drive, and Mineral Wells are still completely infested by this behavior.

For all the department's claims to the contrary, the activity is alive and "well". When patrons complain about lewd conduct in a park, the City and Rec and Parks claim they do not have the resources to deal with this problem.

Seems to this blog that all they need to do is go to Craig's List, look up today's list of rendezvous, catch them in the act, and arrest these people. A few well-publicized arrests will go a long way to convincing people to keep this kind of activity out of public parks.