Winter Park considers changing dog park name

Namesake Fleet Peeples accused of molesting several children

By Erik Sandoval - Reporter

WINTER PARK, Fla. - Fleet Peeples Dog Park could soon be undergoing a name change after the Orlando Sentinel published an article Sunday showing a different side to the man the park was named after.

Fleetwood "Fleet" Peeples, who had been a swim teacher to many children in the area and a swim coach at Rollins College, is now claimed to have sexually molested at least five former students while they were growing up, according to the paper.

Peeples died in 1993.

Many park-goers now want the name changed due to the negative activity associated with Peeples.

"It's still just a horrible connotation to have linked to such a happy place. It should be changed," said Brittany Evans, who visits the park often with her dog Naomi.

The City of Winter Park agrees and released a statement this afternoon stating, "Because of the number of people that have come forward and because of the severity of their claims, city staff believes the community is best served by returning the park back to its original name," which was Lake Baldwin Park.

According to some park-goers, however, it will be a tough change for them to grasp when talking about the popular dog park.

"Honestly, I think people will still call it Fleet Peeples just because it's been that for so long," said Kelly Kubik, a regular visitor to the park with her dog Elaine. "Even when we take her to other dog parks, we talk about how we come here."

The City Council meeting to discuss the name change will be held July 14 and they will be allowing for public comment before the meeting starts.

Molly Reed contributed to this story.

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