VOLUSIA COUNTY, Fla. – Several people were arrested during an undercover four-day operation targeting lewd activity in Volusia County parks, deputies said during a press conference Saturday morning.
During the Sheriff's Office's "Operation Park Hopper," deputies trolled parks looking for men who were searching for "hookups" and exposed themselves.
Undercover Volusia County deputies began visiting area parks and said it didn't take long for men to approach them and start conversations before the inappropriate behavior took place.
Deputies said 18 men, raging from 28 years of age to 78 years of age, were arrested during the sting and nearly all of them were charged with indecent exposure and other charges. Four of the men faced additional charges of battery for groping or rubbing a deputy, the Sheriff's Office said.
One of the men aggressively grabbed an undercover deputy's crotch before grabbing his arm and trying to pull the deputy toward him, deputies said. When the deputy tried to arrest him, the man did not cooperate, causing him to face an additional charge of resisting an officer without violence.
Another man was arrested when someone pointed him out to a deputy and said he was masturbating, according to the Sheriff's Office.
The Sheriff's Office said the men were arrested at the following county parks:
- Bicentennial Park, Ormond Beach
- Riverbend Park, Ormond Beach
- Lake Beresford Park, DeLand
- Doris Leeper Spruce Creek Preserve, Port Orange
- Sleepy Hollow Park, New Smyrna Beach
- Green Springs Park, Deltona