Published January 13, 2015
An undercover investigation into public sex in Johnson City parks has led to the arrest of 40 men in two weeks.
"Our parks are for family use. People should not be exposed to this while they are out there with their family or trying to enjoy the walking trails," Johnson City Police Chief John Lowry said. "They are not built nor maintained for sexual activity, be it homosexual activity or heterosexual activity."
The investigation in the Winged Deer and Buffalo Mountain parks began after police received complaints from the public.
"Part of this took place off the paved trails. There's a thing out there (at Winged Deer Park) they've evidently termed the 'Man Cave,"' Lowry said. "It's a good way off the paved trail. It's underbrush that's grown up and resembles a cave."
As part of the investigation, undercover officers would strike up conversations with men approaching a trail leading to the Man Cave. Some of those conversations led to proposals for sex and several men exposed themselves or groped the officers, police said.
The suspects from Tennessee, Virginia and North Carolina ranged in age from 26 to 85.
According to the Johnson City Press, the suspects included a school teacher and a pastor.