Man arrested in Nanaimo park for indecent act

Nanaimo Mounties arrested a man for indecent exposure Thursday.

Nanaimo Mounties arrested a man for indecent exposure Thursday.

Gerald Lorne Fox, 57, of Nanaimo, was arrested at about 4:15 p.m. after police were called about a man naked from the waist down committing an indecent act near the Kin Pool in Bowen Park. There were at least 30 adults and children around the pool and playground at the time.

When police arrived they found Fox sitting on a park bench and took him into custody without incident.

Fox pleaded guilty in Nanaimo provincial court Friday to committing an indecent act and was sentenced to 60 days in jail.

Police said with warmer spring weather, such incidents will become more prevalent and usually happen in specific areas around Nanaimo, including Maffeo Sutton Park, Bowen Park near the Kin Pool, Bowen Park Complex and tennis courts, Colliery Dam and Westwood Lake parks.

In 2008 there were 13 indecent acts reported from May 1 to Sept. 1. For the same period in 2009, there were 26 and in 2010 there were eight. The increase in 2009 is attributed to a rash of incidents in and around Vancouver Island University and Harewood.

Const. Gary O’Brien, Nanaimo RCMP spokesman, said the number of public indecent acts in Nanaimo are minimal compared to the thousands of people who visit Nanaimo’s outdoor recreation areas.

Anyone who witnesses indecent behaviour should leave the area immediately and call 911 as soon as possible with details about the area where it happened and a description of the suspect.

People are advised to walk, run or cycle with a buddy and keep an eye out for suspicious behaviour. People wearing ear buds are advised to keep music turned low enough to be able to hear other people approaching.