Walter, Bauer, and Jenkins (who range in age from 50-77) were the three men whose names the Snooze Journal felt obligated to print when they were arrested for loitering for engaging in or soliciting sexual activvity [the 77-year-old also got charged with offensive touching] in the Newark PD sting this past weekend in Folk Park.
Here's a large chunk of the article, because, strangely enough (possibly due to my own ineptitude) I cannot find it online:
Illegal Sexual Activity Moves from Iron Hill to Folk Park
by Angie Basiouny [I usually don't do writer's names, but in this case I wanted to be sure to avoid slandering any of the competent reports on the WNJ staff, and there are several.]
[Nor could I resist editorializing just the slightest bit.]
Newark police officers are dealing with an old problem in a new place.
For the past month, they've been cracking down on illegal sexual activity [in their off moments from selectively enforcing noise ordinances against bikers] that seems to have migrated north [presumably, as fast as the 77-year-old's walker could get him there] from the county-owned Iron Hill Park, just south of I-95, into the city-owned Folk Park next door.
Three [elderly, let's not forget elderly] men have been arrested in separate cases, accused of approaching male undercover officers and soliciting them for sex.
"It's basically been developing since the county police started doing enforcement in Iron Hill Park," Newark Capt. Rick Williams said Thursday. "Right now, this is the only [city] park that we know of with this problem."
For decades, Iron Hill Park had a reputation as a clandestine spot for men to meet other men, and was listed on Internet sites that identify places to "cruise" for sex.... [I'm sure a lot of 77 year-old-men go web-surfing for pick-up pointers]
But Newark Mayor Vance Funk said he thinks heavy police patrols in the city park will bring a quick end to the issue.
"I never dreamed they [those despicable, elderly queer criminals, I think he means] would start using Folk Park," he said. "It's not a big concern with me because we actively patrol that area and anybody who would use that park for illegal means would have to be nuts. They must want to be caught." [so they're masochists, too, huh, Mr. Mayor?]...
Several residents living in nearby Villa Belmont apartments said they were unaware of any criminal activity at the park. Those who did said they were confident police could stop it.
"I do hope they get control of it," said Ruth Shipley [obviously uncertain of the Newark PD's ability to hand three elderly gay men]. "I know a lot of people like to use the walking trail..." [She] said she hates the idea that the crime has simply moved across the interstate....
Newark Councilman Paul Pomeroy said he wants to make it clear the city is not stepping up patrols because the reported crimes are between two men. [so, Paul, you admit the undercover officers were interested, eh?]
"I think that sort of sexual activity in a public park, no matter who is doing it, is not appropriate and not what we are looking to promote," he said [confident that no teens or college students had ever kissed, groped, or penetrated each other in any fashion in a Newark park, ever].
Here's the apology: Mr. Walter, Mr. Bauer, and Mr. Jenkins, on behalf of myself [because I have my doubts about finding anybody else who'll do it], I'd like to apologize for the News Journal deciding to publicly humiliate you by specifically blocking your names as potential sex offenders on the front page of the Local Section. I'd like to apologize for the Gestapo-like tactics of the Newark Police Department (and apparently the Newark Council) for criminalizing your sexual orientation and any attempt to hook up with another consenting adult.
As for those of you who are going to go the route of defending the Newark PD because this is a public park and it's obviously inappropriate [God knows I'm coming to hate that weasel word with a passion] to engage in any form of sexual behavior in any slightly public place, let me put it to you as simply as I can: screw off.
You liberals have participated in the sexualization of society to the point where it is acceptable for a pre-teen girl to wander around that same park wearing Abercrombie & Fitch come-on shorts and T-shirts, and have marginalized concerned parents who object to the process by lumping them in a social conservatives....
You conservatives have tried for Taliban-like restrictions on access to birth control and abortions, and have consistently supported the idea that gay people are too twisted and disruptive of the morale of us normal God-fearing folks either to get killed in Iraq or become tourists in South Carolina....
This is what you all agree on? Elderly gay men should be criminalized for seeking sex with consenting adults?
Walter, Bauer, and Jenkins--the Newark Three--are the victims in this case.
As I said once before, I'll leave it as an exercise for the student to figure out who I think should be considered the perps.