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For Onan’s Sake Gentlemen, Please Keep Your Penises Holstered at Graham Swamp

| January 11, 2013

The latest men to pay homage to Henry Longfellow at Graham Swamp: Leslie Colombo, left, and Charles Bitzer.

The latest men to pay homage to Henry Longfellow at Graham Swamp: Leslie Colombo, left, and Charles Bitzer.

As he took office this week Flagler County Sheriff Jim Manfre made much of reorganizing the county’s largest police agency, eliminating certain squads, creating new ones. Creating a wanker patrol was not among the new initiatives. Perhaps it should be, with Graham Swamp as its base.

As it is, Manfre picked up almost exactly where Don Fleming left off on the onanism beat.

For the third time in four months, men were arrested at Graham Swamp for acts involving the public display, and public handling, of a penis. As was the case in October, the arrests took place in separate incidents involving men of a certain age who took out their penises around the swamp on the assumption that they were with a like-minded man, when in fact they were dealing with an undercover cop.

Both arrests took place just after 1 p.m. on Thursday.

In the first case, Leslie Colombo, a 70-year-old resident of Philmont Lane, initiated a conversation with the undercover cop, broaching sexual subjects, according to his arrest report. Colombo then allegedly exposed himself, then asked the cop to walk back with him to his (Colombo’s) car. “Once in the parking lot, Leslie again exposed his penis to the undercover officer, asking him to leave the park with him to participate in sexual activities.”

He was arrested. His vehicle was inventoried by cops at the scene before it was towed by Roger’s Towing. A loaded .22-caliber revolver was located in the glove-box of the car. That’s legal in Florida, where state law not only allows individuals to carry weapons into a public park (and public buildings and government meetings and walking trails), but forbids local governments from restricting the practice. Colombo had a valid concealed weapon permit, one of more than 1 million the state has handed out since 2007. The sheriff’s office took the weapon “for safekeeping.”

“Also located in the back seat of the vehicle was a plastic enema bottle wrapped in a plastic bag,” the arrest report notes.

The encounter between  Colombo and the officer was captured on video—another initiative Manfre intends to make routine by equipping his deputies with portable video cameras that will document encounters and arrests  both to protect and back-up deputies in legal proceedings, and to provide the public—and suspects—a level of transparency they, too, can rely on.

The second case involved Charles Bitzer Jr., 68, of 9 Barkley Lane. Unlike Colombo, Bitzer did not wait. According to the arrest report, he followed the three-point program of such encounters in succession, on the spot: he engaged the undercover cop in a sexually oriented conversation, he whipped out his penis, and he began masturbating in front of the undercover cop. That encounter, too, was recorded with video and audio.

Bitzer was arrested and taken to the Flagler County jail. They were both released on $1,500 bail. If past arrests are any guide, the men are likely to get off with fines and perhaps probation.

It isn’t illegal, in Flagler County, to masturbate, nor to do so with the aid of enema equipment. It is illegal to do so in public places. Why Graham Swamp—a modestly, quietly spectacular trail around a large pond that recreates Monet’s Water Lillies daily, and more beautifully—has become a favorite ground for older men to wax Longfellow on their surroundings is a mystery, though the trail does provide many a secluded spot, and it is never far from the parking lot, where, apparently, lubricious ideas are left to lurk.

The sheriff’s office appears well aware of the trend, wasting no time not only to patrol the area again, as it has since October, but, under Manfre, flashing the name of the re-Christened unit doing the patrolling: The Safe Neighborhood Unit.

And it was on such a story that Manfre provided his first official, post-inauguration quote in a news release: “This was an excellent operation by the Safe Neighborhood Unit. These operations will continue at Graham Swamp as long as there is a need,” Manfre said. “Our goal is to create a safe environment for visitors to the preserve.”

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28 Responses for “For Onan’s Sake Gentlemen, Please Keep Your Penises Holstered at Graham Swamp”

  1. teresa says:

    aren’t there ENOUGH pythons running around Florida, they have to be whipping out some more? THIS is just disgusting & they should be embarrassed….but I bet they aren’t

  2. Ralph Belcher says:

    Hopefully they had counselors on the scene with that kind of detective work going on. The officers now have to purge this from their minds (once testimony is over). Yuck.

  3. confidential says:

    Good job Sheriff !.
    Please do not forget to bring back our deputies patrolling as well the other county and city parks, if can’t be done with a cruiser (example within Linear Park and some areas of Waterfront Park, etc) and provide all these officers with cameras as well, for their own and the law abiding citizens protection as well as efficient evidence. Please have your officers while patrolling between midnight and 6 am, address the city of Palm Coast ordinance of not parking on the swells, without waiting for a residents complaint calls and also no parking on the street/public road at any time as the ordinance calls for. Warning notices will give residents plenty of time to correct this violation. Cars parked overnight in these public narrow, winding, unlighted, often foggy streets are a hazard to us all. Many at times we see cars parked on the street overnight when there is plenty of room on the resident’s driveway. Keep up the good work Mr. Manfre!

  4. Magnolia says:

    These guys are too sick to be embarrassed. They need to be locked up. Why is Florida where all the perverts end up?

  5. Geezer says:

    Old Chinese saying:
    “Man who keep hand in pocket
    Make good ball player”

    Mr. Bitzer’s hair dye went to his brain.
    Funny, this is a case where impotence is welcome.

  6. Kenny says:

    Freaking SICK perverts…….OFF with their HEADS !!!!!!! This city is the armpit of Florida and getting worse everyday. From now on I’m carrying my OWN hidden camera on me ALWAYS to record both the FREAKS and the LAW. I don’t trust any HUMAN anymore. FBI ghost squads running around recording EVERYONE and storing data in a huge SECRET database. This country is DONE …..OVER……TURN OUT THE LIGHTS AS YOU LEAVE !!!!!!!!!!

  7. A.S.F. says:

    Cannot it not be made a requirement of probation for offenders like this to complete an evaluation by a licensed professional with expertise in the area of sexual disorders? Wouldn’t it make sense to try to get a handle on the potential for dangerousness and re-offense in each individual case? The information should then be used to fulfill whatever treatment/ supervision would be recommended (and, hopefully, mandated) in each case. Of course, judges and probation (and other) counselors involved with these indivuals will also need to be educated as to how to properly evaluate, monitor and treat them. It may sound expensive but the toll on countless victims and families would seem to be well worth the bother and expense. Also, if neurological and/or psychiatric issues are involved, as well as behavioral ones, jail time will only be a temporary solution to a complex long-term problem. It isn’t the kind of thing that can be wished or willed away! There are many options that can be considered, in addition to jail-time, including chemical restraints for very high risk individuals. If the impulsivity is more organically based, such as in the case of certain dementias, a different kind of evaluation can be ordered and the person can then be referred for appropriate treatment.

    • Gram says:

      “It may sound expensive but the toll on countless victims and families would seem to be well worth the bother and expense. Also, if neurological and/or psychiatric issues are involved, as well as behavioral ones, jail time will only be a temporary solution to a complex long-term problem.”

      Oh come on now. I love the alliteration and frivolity here, but this all boils down to horny old men being horny old men. These are victimless crimes, unless the perpetrators can be said to be the victims. I’ve run around that lake countless times, and the pervs are always there and they are harmless unless you engage them. Entrapment is entrapment, and at the end of the day it creates more problems than it solves!

      • A.S.F. says:

        “Gram says: Oh, come on now…” You have no idea if these individuals are doing more at home (or at other places) than they are in that park…and no one is likely to know unless they are properly evaluated and monitored. I can see from the joking references being made on this site that many in this town do not take such things seriously…and still you question why you have so many “pervs” and sex offenders living here! Well, why do you think! Do you really want to wait until something more serious happens? I bet the “alliteration and friviolity” won’t seem so beside the point to you then…and the term “horny old men” will take on a whole new meaning.

        • Gram says:

          You know, I’ll have a steaming plate of My Words all ready to eat, if and when that ever happens. I will not sit around and ideate fruitlessly about what these individuals are doing with their home lives or wherever. I believe in letting the people in society be the people in society. We punish homosexual behavior enough in this world.

          • A.S.F. says:

            Gram, you are right if what they do is confined to the INSIDES of their homes and don’t in any way pose a threat to any individuals that are non-consenting or in any way vulnerable.These particular individuals live less than a mile from at least one elementary school and live less than 5 miles from several elementary schools. The fact that they have, on at least one occasion, acted out in such a public place shows their disdain for the law and little appreciation for the consequences of their actions for themselves, their loved ones and the public at large. I do not consider homosexuality to be a crime or an illness. But these men have commtted illegal acts in a public place. They have already shown very poor judgement and a lack of impulse control– and some of them, apparently, are carrying weapons. I am puzzled to think that you are so satisfied to wait until something worse happens. Homosexuality is NOT the point–that is a private matter.Criminal behavior IS something that merits concern (or it should.)

      • Michelle says:

        To you, these are victimless crimes. But I have a Girl Scout Troop that I would love to take back there hiking. I really don’t think they need to be exposed to a couple of ‘horny old men being horny old men’. If you don’t wnt to be entrapped – then keep your penis in your pants.

  8. glad fly says:

    maybe a new name for the park should be penis park. this is getting old.

  9. First Coaster says:

    “…the men are likely to get off with fines and perhaps probation.” I guess if wanking in the park gets them off, so will fines and probation? Regardless, they took the problem in hand.

  10. First Coaster says:

    Maybe if they got a little on the home front they wouldn’t be wanking in the park?

  11. Deep South says:

    Must be a lot knot holes in them their Cypress Or Pine Trees back their in Graham Swamp.

  12. RNYPD says:

    What scares me is this guy came locked and loaded. Now we have perverts that have concealed carry permits that don’t want to conceal their stuff?

    Man who keep hands in pockets feel nuts.

  13. Justin B. says:

    Isn’t there an online website for older pervs to hook up, so they don’t have to do these things in public?

  14. Judy V. says:

    First of all, EWW. Second of all, this is the greatest headline ever. Thank you FlaglerLive.

  15. Steve F. says:

    I thought this kind of police entrapment went out with the LAPD of the 1950s. These guys were hurting…who? It’s Florida, but it sure is The South.

  16. Winny says:

    Hey Glad Fly,
    How about “Wackenoff Park” as a new name. Oh!!! I know, since there is also a pond, maybe allow fishing and put in a small bait shop called “Masterbaiters”.

  17. Outsider says:

    I bet these guys won’t do a minute of jail time. They’ve proven quite adept at getting themselves off.

  18. observant says:

    The tactics used by law enforcement in this case do not constitute entrapment. Entrapment requires the officer to force the person to do something they would not otherwise, normally do. In this case, the officers just allowed these men to do what they were going to do anyway, but they were there to catch them. So many people claim entrapment without knowing what it really means.

    • NortonSmitty says:

      ” Entrapment requires the officer to force the person to do something they would not otherwise, normally do.”

      But this enables the “But Judge, they were really cute” defense.

  19. Meinl man says:

    We need VIAGRA restrictions not more gun control……take away the blue pills and maybe these guys will slow down a litlle and do what retired people do…sleep and play golf.

  20. ryan says:

    Maybe if we worry more about these scumbags and less about trivial things like not mowing the lawn, then we can clean up this town of real criminals. these guys need to be in fear of doing things like this and it will stop. As long as the perp’s rights activist keep their mouths shut as well, I think that will make it easier to deal with slime that preys on children.

  21. margaret miller says:

    Time to resume the patrol

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