7 SWFL parks listed online for men to hook up

Posted at 10:19 PM, Apr 28, 2016
and last updated 2016-05-02 15:35:27-04

SOUTHWEST FLORIDA -- Seven southwest Florida parks are listed online as hot spots for men to meet to hook up.

An Alva man was arrested for exposing himself to an undercover deputy and touching himself at a Charlotte County park. This is the second arrest for this behavior in the last three weeks at Flatwoods Environmental Park in Punta Gorda.

A Four in Your Corner investigation revealed the park is listed online as a hookup spot for men looking for sex.  The site gave the park four stars and told visitors to back in the parking lot and make eye contact with a man to signal you're there for some action.

Six other parks were also listed online as places to men to meet for sex.

Scott Vanwagoner said he goes to Jaycee Park in Cape Coral with his five-year-old daughter every Thursday. "She likes to climb on everything," he said.

They're joined by folks fishing, taking in the fresh air, and walking their dogs. "Lots and lots of kids, puppies, families grilling out and having fun," Lauren Freitag said. She goes to the park multiple times a week.

Jaycee Park is listed on a site for cruising, which means searching in public places for sexual partners.  "Kind of creepy. People do what they're going to do, but it shouldn't be in a public place like a family park," Vanwagoner said.

The gave Jaycee Park one out of five stars, but implied the restrooms and pavilions as places to have sex.  "Well, that's kind of provocative," Vanwagoner said.

"Oh my God. That is ridiculous. I can't believe that. That's absolutely insane. I can't believe that they would do that, at this park especially," Freitag said.

One man said it was a problem at Jaycee Park years ago, but not anymore.

Rotary Park in Cape Coral was also on the list.  It has a playground, but also more hidden areas.

"I could imagine that because there's the trails and stuff down there. Of course I wouldn't doubt it, but that's crazy," Freitag said.

The site specifically lists the boardwalk at Rotary Park, giving it four out of five stars because it's private and discreet.  In 2014, Cape Coral Police arrested two men soliciting sex on the boardwalk.

Bunche Beach preserve was also listed as a hook up spot with three out of five stars. The Lee County Sheriff's Office was heavily patroling the area years ago because of reports of indecent exposure.

Judd Community Park in North Fort Myers was given four out of five stars.

Caloosahatchee Regional Park in Alva was given two stars.

Gilchrist Park in Punta Gorda was also listed.

"It's not something to be done in a public place at all," Freitag said.

The Charlotte County Sheriff's Office said they continue to patrol Flatwoods Environmental Park to keep it safe.

Punta Gorda Police say they have not gotten any complaints of sexual activity at Gilchrist Park, but patrol the area frequently.

Dana Coston of Cape Coral Police said their "Vice, Intelligence, and Narcotics Unit monitors this type of activity and conducts periodic operations to apprehend criminal offenders and curtail criminal activity."

Four in Your Corner's Lisa Greenberg reached out to the Lee County Sheriff's Office, but it was later in the work day and we have not heard back yet.