People at Craighead Forest Speak Out About Recent Sexual Arrests

AUGUST 18, 2006 -- POSTED AT 8:00 P.M. CDT

JONESBORO, AR -- An undercover sex sting operation at Craighead Forest Park led to the arrests of 4 people Thursday afternoon. The Jonesboro Police Department reported that 4 men were arrested for public sexual indecency inside a restroom at the park.

After Thursday's arrests, frequent visitors to the park are speaking out. Jim Stearns, heads up a local social sport club called the Ridge Rider Athletic Club. He says this activity is something their group has been suspicious of for years.

"Not that I've ever seen anything personally, but there's always that rumor that this activity was taking place in those places," says Stearns.

He says at certain times in the past while trying to exercise, their club members have become uncomfortable and they hope to soon have this problem become a problem of the past.

"We're seeing more parents out to walk and run, and that's a pretty intimidating situation to be in as a family member to come upon someone in a restroom," says Stearns.

Stearns says their biggest concern is that this negative activity will prevent others from enjoying such a beautiful park, located inside Craighead County.

"I'd hate to bring a bunch of friends for a bike ride from out of town and have this kind of activity going on. That's going to make us look bad and make Jonesboro look bad. We don't want to do that. We want to promote the fact that we have a great park and that recreation opportunities are huge in Northeast Arkansas, especially in Jonesboro," says Stearns.

The Jonesboro Police Department said they plan to continue the undercover sex sting operation at the park until the behavior ceases.