Man Arrested For Being Naked In Own Kitchen
October 22, 2009 8:46 AM   Subscribe

Eric Williamson was making coffee in his kitchen at his home in Springfield, Virginia on Monday morning. He was home alone. "But a woman [the wife of a Fairfax County police officer] and her 7-year-old son happened to be strolling through his front yard and saw the 29-year-old having breakfast in the buff through his window."* Police were called. Williamson was arrested for indecent exposure. Parents are outraged because there is a school bus stop across the street. posted by ericb (280 comments total) 10 users marked this as a favorite
 
On Tuesday police went out to canvas the neighborhood, "going door-to-door," passing out fliers to see if anyone else saw Williamson naked in his house on Monday morning. The local school "sent home a letter" with children."
posted by ericb at 8:49 AM on October 22, 2009


Won't somebody please think of the children!?


on preview: I can imagine a hilarious "has anyone seen this man?" flier
posted by ghharr at 8:50 AM on October 22, 2009 [4 favorites]


Solution: Outlaw windows.
posted by Faint of Butt at 8:51 AM on October 22, 2009 [4 favorites]


"Yes, I wasnt wearing any clothes but I was alone, in my own home and just got out of bed. It was dark and I had no idea anyone was outside looking in at me, Williamson said."
posted by ericb at 8:51 AM on October 22, 2009 [8 favorites]


Ugh. Don't be naked in front of a big window when there are kids passing by. Don't give a person a bunch of shit and call the cops when they are obviously being non-maliciously bothersome. I swear, this country has a bunch of sissypants whinybutts lately.
posted by lazaruslong at 8:51 AM on October 22, 2009 [69 favorites]


Bloody right.

If we don't deal with this growing menace now, before we know it the paedophiles will have won.
posted by MuffinMan at 8:52 AM on October 22, 2009


Surprised they're not also going after him for handling hot liquids without proper protective clothing.
posted by permafrost at 8:52 AM on October 22, 2009 [1 favorite]


Shouldn't these kids be in a box in the attic?
posted by mazola at 8:53 AM on October 22, 2009 [41 favorites]


Solution: Outlaw windows.

Can we please not make this into a PC versus Mac thread?
posted by ericb at 8:53 AM on October 22, 2009 [45 favorites]


Hahaha....his house is "across the street from spot where....schoolchildren....pick up buses". Great reporting there buddy. I mean, if I saw some schoolchildren picking up buses, I would be so impressed I might forget about my lack of clothing too!
posted by lazaruslong at 8:54 AM on October 22, 2009 [3 favorites]


What a sicko - naked in his own home. Lock 'im up and throw away the key. Thank god only one child was scarred by exposure to the human form. Call a priest and a therapist!


Is this where I put the hamburger? {/}
Actually, this one's a veggie burger. {\}

posted by Salvor Hardin at 8:54 AM on October 22, 2009 [1 favorite]


You would really have to be a special brand of asshole to go "Oh yeah, now that you mention it I do remember a dude being naked by his window. I didn't give a shit then, but when you give me a chance to help convict him of a crime sure I'll change my mind."
posted by Doublewhiskeycokenoice at 8:55 AM on October 22, 2009 [19 favorites]


So, it is standard practice for people to cut through other people's front yards rather than taking a sidewalk or walking along the edge of the property in that part of the US? I was raised in southern NM and have lived in AZ, OR, and currently WA, and have lived my entire life believing that walking across someone else's property if you're not on a public easement or sidewalk is trespassing. I certainly know that I would not expect to have someone walking up close to any property I lived in without a concrete walkway running there.
posted by hippybear at 8:55 AM on October 22, 2009 [16 favorites]


Seriously, where's the common sense in all this? Have the police give him a call to let him know he was bothering his neighbors and call it a day. If he doesn't change, then you start threatening to fine him.
posted by mccarty.tim at 8:55 AM on October 22, 2009 [7 favorites]


By the time I was seven I had seen more naked adults than I can count. God forbid these people should go to Europe.
There's a certain irony that this happens in the so-called "land of the free". I'll quite happily tolerate my neighbors doing minute-long burnouts in the road as long as they won't complain about what I do.
posted by dunkadunc at 8:55 AM on October 22, 2009 [1 favorite]


So, uh, could he press trespassing charges?

and christ almighty, OMFG a nekkid person acting in a non sexual fashion!! danger danger
posted by edgeways at 8:55 AM on October 22, 2009 [1 favorite]


Fear-drunk, pearl-clutching ninnies + Bentham's panopticon as model for the modern American neighborhood = this kind of fucking idiocy.

In spite of the rank stupidity of the "charge" here, doesn't the fact that they were basically trespassing poison the well? Paging the ACLU.
posted by Emperor SnooKloze at 8:56 AM on October 22, 2009 [8 favorites]


OH NOES! A PENIS! WON'T SOMEONE THINK OF THE CHILDREN!?!!eleventyone!!

There are days I really, truly hate humans.

(GWB was in town yesterday saying that his Iraq war prevented a nuclear arms race. Argh.)
posted by five fresh fish at 8:56 AM on October 22, 2009 [2 favorites]


"happened to be strolling through his front yard"

As a thought experiment, let's reverse the genders here. Roughly how many minutes do you think it would take to try and imprison a man who trespassed and peeped in a woman's window while she was naked?
posted by mullingitover at 8:56 AM on October 22, 2009 [143 favorites]


I also reserve the right to be naked on my property at any time and for any reason. Screw you, Red America.
posted by dunkadunc at 8:56 AM on October 22, 2009 [16 favorites]


He should countersue everyone claiming to have seen him naked for tresspassing and voyerism (or whatever the crime of being a peeping tom is called).
posted by peep at 8:57 AM on October 22, 2009 [1 favorite]


Am I the only one who's more concerned about the woman and her son "strolling through his front yard" than about his being naked in his own house? Aren't there, you know, laws against that sort of thing? Isn't that trespassing?

on preview, what hippybear said.
posted by yiftach at 8:57 AM on October 22, 2009 [1 favorite]


i just cannot believe that this happens.

nude/naked != sexual

christ people.

(i hope i did "is not equal" thing correctly.)
posted by sio42 at 8:58 AM on October 22, 2009


Perhaps a sign on his lawn:

BEWARE OF NAKEDNESS
posted by philip-random at 8:58 AM on October 22, 2009


and on posting, what lots of others are now saying...
posted by yiftach at 8:58 AM on October 22, 2009


Gladys Kravitz 2.0!
posted by ericb at 8:58 AM on October 22, 2009 [4 favorites]


Well, now we know why all those old people want the kids off the lawn.
posted by Pragmatica at 8:59 AM on October 22, 2009 [34 favorites]


Oddly, he probably could get away with painting "HOT NASTY DICKS" across his bay window as a free speech issue.
posted by adipocere at 9:01 AM on October 22, 2009 [7 favorites]


A spokesman for Fairfax county police, Mary Ann Jennings, said Williamson was arrested because officers believed he wanted to be seen naked by the public.

QED. He got caught because he wanted to get caught. If you think you have a defense because you are in the privacy of your own home, think again.
posted by blucevalo at 9:05 AM on October 22, 2009


If we don't deal with this growing menace now...

Well, if his (ahem) "menace" was growing, he would probably have appreciated some help in dealing with it.
posted by Jakey at 9:05 AM on October 22, 2009 [1 favorite]


(i hope i did "is not equal" thing correctly.)

You did. Or you could do this: ≠
posted by zarq at 9:06 AM on October 22, 2009 [2 favorites]


For the curious: § 18.2-387. Indecent exposure.
Every person who intentionally makes an obscene display or exposure of his person, or the private parts thereof, in any public place, or in any place where others are present, or procures another to so expose himself, shall be guilty of a Class 1 misdemeanor. No person shall be deemed to be in violation of this section for breastfeeding a child in any public place or any place where others are present.
posted by peeedro at 9:06 AM on October 22, 2009 [2 favorites]


I wonder if that mom also wanders the neighborhood in the wee hours, forcing the local wildlife to wear these.
posted by zarq at 9:07 AM on October 22, 2009 [1 favorite]


Wow. I'd really like to see the little thought bubbles struggling to emerge from the average Fox viewer's head.

"HELL NAW GET THE GUBMINT OFF MAH PROPERTY IF SOME BITCH TRIED THAT I'D BE ALL LIKE HEY READ THE CONSTITUTION IT SAYS I CAN DRINK MAH COFFEE AND JIM BEAM WHILE NEKKID AND WATERING MAH FLOWERS FUCK YALL SOUTH WILL RISE AGAIN EVEN THOUGH I'M FROM THE INLAND EMPIRE AND ONLY APE A SOUTHERN ACCENT WHEN CALLING IN TO THE GLENN BECK SHOW"
vs.
"OMG WON'T SOMEONE PLEASE THINK OF THE CHILDREN LOCK THAT DRUNK FILTHY HIPPIE UP (LOL JAILRAPE) OH GOD THE POOR INNOCENT LITTLE BABIES WHERE'S MAH GUN STRING 'EM UP!!"

Eventually the pressure would build up to the point where their poor little skulls would explode with a wet pop.
posted by xthlc at 9:08 AM on October 22, 2009 [11 favorites]


Not that it's the primary issue here, but it's important that children don't know what a real body looks like.

It will only confuse them when start reading and watching TV.
posted by mazola at 9:08 AM on October 22, 2009


He got caught because he wanted to get caught.

Says who? Oh, the people who would look like thugs if it turned out he was only seen because someone was walking unreasonably close to his house and looking in the window. Of course.
posted by uncleozzy at 9:08 AM on October 22, 2009


On the one hand: okay, yeah, occasionally (....more like "frequently") I've gone nekkid in my apartment if it's hot, early/late, the middle of the night, etc. If I'm home alone and don't expect anyone, well, feh, it's just easier sometimes.

On the OTHER hand: when I do that, I also don't sit in front of big-ass picture windows, because....windows work both ways.

Still, just giving the guy a kind of a warning first, rather than jumping straight to "hoshit arrest him" seems more called for here. Sometimes you forget just how much people can see in your windows from outside, you know?
posted by EmpressCallipygos at 9:08 AM on October 22, 2009 [3 favorites]


Every person who intentionally makes an obscene display or exposure of his person, or the private parts thereof, in any public place, or in any place where others are present....

He was in his own house. At 5:30 in the morning. IANAL, but I don't think it's reasonable for him to expect that she would come traipsing into his yard at that hour.
posted by zarq at 9:09 AM on October 22, 2009 [15 favorites]


See back when I was a kid I would be giggling going "I saw butt" and telling every kid I know.

Why the hell were they strolling through his front yard? At least he didn't come out naked yelling GET OFF MY LAWN".
posted by stormpooper at 9:09 AM on October 22, 2009 [1 favorite]


42 minutes
posted by Boslowski at 9:11 AM on October 22, 2009 [2 favorites]


blucevalo: "QED. He got caught because he wanted to get caught. If you think you have a defense because you are in the privacy of your own home, think again."

If he wanted to be seen naked by the public then why wouldn't he just go into, I dunno, a public place?
posted by mullingitover at 9:11 AM on October 22, 2009


It's a good thing no one bothers looking in our windows, because dude, I would be SO IN JAIL by now.

Also, I find it interesting that no one's talking about arresting the woman for trespassing, and that they only mentioned in passing that she's the wife of a police officer. Talk about false outrage. They also say in one article it happened at 5:30 a.m. and in another, 8:30 a.m, which I think is an awfully big time-gulf to bridge. Look in my window at 5:30 in the morning and you deserve whatever you get, trespassing weirdo woman.
posted by bitter-girl.com at 9:12 AM on October 22, 2009 [20 favorites]


What the fuck is wrong with people? I'm suppressing the urge to rant.

Holy shitfuck. At least she didn't cut his hand off with a samurai sword.
posted by flippant at 9:13 AM on October 22, 2009 [2 favorites]


If ever in New York, the woman who reported Williamson is advised not to stroll through the new High Line park by the Standard Hotel.

Exhibitionists use New York hotel's floor-to-ceiling windows to frolic naked in full view of park below.
posted by ericb at 9:14 AM on October 22, 2009


"QED. He got caught because he wanted to get caught. If you think you have a defense because you are in the privacy of your own home, think again."

No, not QED. The only complaint they have is from a pair of people who were on his property when they saw the alleged "display." This is why they're going around asking other people, so they can take care of that pesky "intent" part of the violation. You might be right, but you don't get to use QED until you can prove you are right.
posted by Doublewhiskeycokenoice at 9:14 AM on October 22, 2009 [2 favorites]


Curious - how does this work inside the family home?

Should everyone call the cops because my kids saw me naked this morning? Last night? Since they were born? We have never made a big deal of "nakedness" - I wouldn't be horrified if my daughter saw a naked man through a window, in his own home.

He should get "lawyer up" and counter-charge with trespassing & whatever "peeping tom" laws they have in his state.
posted by jkaczor at 9:15 AM on October 22, 2009


Is he cute? Because that will determine how I feel about this story.
posted by greekphilosophy at 9:16 AM on October 22, 2009 [10 favorites]


Naked Guy is lucky the cops didn't tase his naked ass for being "threatening".

Remember when Balloon Boy's balloon landed and a cop on the scene drew his sidearm?
posted by Joe Beese at 9:16 AM on October 22, 2009 [2 favorites]


Isn't that trespassing?

Wife of a cop?
posted by furiousxgeorge at 9:19 AM on October 22, 2009 [1 favorite]


Off my lawn, you damn prudes!
posted by M.C. Lo-Carb! at 9:19 AM on October 22, 2009


when I do that, I also don't sit in front of big-ass picture windows

Picture window? Check out the videos in the link; they show footage of the man's kitchen. There's a small window above the sink (maybe 4 feet above floor level) and a glass door at a sharp angle well away from the coffeemaker. You'd have to be looking pretty hard to see nudity from outside that room.
posted by kittyprecious at 9:20 AM on October 22, 2009 [1 favorite]


They also say in one article it happened at 5:30 a.m. and in another, 8:30 a.m, which I think is an awfully big time-gulf to bridge. Look in my window at 5:30 in the morning and you deserve whatever you get, trespassing weirdo woman.

Whether it was 5:30 or 8:30 makes a big difference. If 5:30, she needs a warning about traipsing through strange yards and peeking in windows. If 8:30, she needs a warning about traipsing through strange yards and peeking in windows, AND he needs a warning about being naked within site of a bus stop when people are up and about. That someone has been arrested over this is ridiculous.
posted by Pater Aletheias at 9:20 AM on October 22, 2009 [3 favorites]


I seriously hope the judge laughs, tells the woman to stop trespassing/looking in other people's windows fergodsake, and dismisses this ridiculous case.
posted by emjaybee at 9:21 AM on October 22, 2009 [3 favorites]


Everyone jumping to Williamson's defense here seems to be omitting the fact that he was chowing down a breakfast of Jimmy Dean's Microwavable Bucket O' Cocks, and therefore deserves to be nailed to a fucking board.
posted by Ufez Jones at 9:21 AM on October 22, 2009 [7 favorites]


This sort of nonsense is why I live in the woods rather than a neighborhood.
posted by TedW at 9:22 AM on October 22, 2009 [1 favorite]


See back when I was a kid I would be giggling going "I saw butt" and telling every kid I know.

That's a good point; kids aren't always necessarily freaked out about this. I remember once when I had a sleepover at a friends' house when I was about nine, and I got up to pee really early in the morning and when I came out I passed by her parents' room -- and the door was ajar, and her father was just getting out of bed and he was clad only in a t-shirt and I saw his butt, but my entire thought process was "Whoa! Mr. P's butt!" and I scurried back into my friends' room before he saw me. I'm pretty confident that this incident did not traumatize me any.
posted by EmpressCallipygos at 9:22 AM on October 22, 2009 [5 favorites]


Oh, and at least he had enough sense that he wasn't frying bacon while naked.
posted by TedW at 9:23 AM on October 22, 2009 [1 favorite]


...deserves to be nailed to a fucking board.
Where could I find one of these "fucking boards" of which you speak?
Not for me, for a friend....
posted by Floydd at 9:24 AM on October 22, 2009 [5 favorites]


Handing out fliers to the neighbors? Sending a letter home with the kids from a nearby elementary school? Whether or not he is guilty of indecent exposure is almost beside the point; this guy's reputation has already been tarnished. If they use common sense to realize, "Hey, this man isn't a sex offender", well it almost seems too late because most of his neighbors may already think he is.
posted by too bad you're not me at 9:24 AM on October 22, 2009 [15 favorites]


also don't sit in front of big-ass picture windows...

In watching the video interviews with Williamson the windows in the kitchen are '6 over 6' panes with long curtains...so the view is not entirely exposed as if a picture window. I'm curious as to where the kitchen is located -- front, side or back of house.
posted by ericb at 9:26 AM on October 22, 2009


"Indecent? He's the first decent one I've seen all day!"
posted by Forrest Greene at 9:28 AM on October 22, 2009 [6 favorites]


Surprised the Washington Post hasn't picked up on this story.
posted by JanetLand at 9:29 AM on October 22, 2009


I seriously hope the judge laughs, tells the woman to stop trespassing/looking in other people's windows fergodsake, and dismisses this ridiculous case.

I remember being told of a case in Nanaimo, BC, back in the 1970s, where a local cop, suspicious of something-or-other, spied a married couple performing a little oral sex through their bedroom window. He busted in and arrested them (fellatio was on the books as against the law at the time) ... but when it got to court, the judge laughed at him and I believe had him suspended for some kind of dereliction of duty.

This was roundabout the same time that the Prime Minister made his famous comment: "The Government has no business in the bedrooms of the nation." But, of course, he was a godless Liberal, with a capital "L" yet.
posted by philip-random at 9:32 AM on October 22, 2009 [3 favorites]


dunkadunc: There's a certain irony that this happens in the so-called "land of the free".

This is the land of the free, not the land of the free willies!
posted by Kattullus at 9:34 AM on October 22, 2009


I'll remember my obligation to fighting nudist crime if anyone notices me pointing my high-powered telescope toward a high-rise.
posted by Halloween Jack at 9:34 AM on October 22, 2009 [1 favorite]


Note: I am neither a voyeur nor own a telescope. (Although I've had my eye on this hot little number from Edmund Scientific for years...)
posted by Halloween Jack at 9:35 AM on October 22, 2009


But seriously, foax.

How about trespassing issues? Peeping Thomasina issues?

How about a Privacy Amendment to the Constitution? That's been brought up before, in Congress, i.e., & in general public debate, & it'd make your head spin how fast it gets shot down. There are a lot of ripple-effect social issues that could easily be put to bed, allowing us as a society to get on with some serious business, for a change, were such an amendment to be passed. A-and maybe that's why TPTB shoot it down so quickly, huh?

And the complaint's from the wife of a police officer?!? Hoo, boy. I can just imagine.
posted by Forrest Greene at 9:36 AM on October 22, 2009


Obviously this is a ridiculous over-reaction. I'd like to think any parent with any sense wouldn't trespass so casually, and that they'd also react to a naked man inside his own house with an eyeroll, a prompt removal of self and kid from the property, and MAYBE a note in the mailbox later on to tell the clueless idiot about these two simple rules:

1) Bright outside, dim inside: nobody can see much inside the house unless they press their face against the glass. If they're trying that hard, call the cops on them.
2) Dim outside, bright inside: get some tassels or a guitar and cowboy hat, because you're on a brightly lit stage, sweetie.
posted by maudlin at 9:36 AM on October 22, 2009 [5 favorites]




'N' don't look now, lady, but we're all naked, under our clothes. Except maybe you.

Dang, I'm going to be sputtering & fuming all day.
posted by Forrest Greene at 9:39 AM on October 22, 2009


YOU PEOPLE AND YOUR GOD DAMNED CLOTHING, SOMETIMES YOU JUST GOT TO LET THE GENTLEMEN SWING AROUND A LITTLE
posted by Greg Nog at 9:40 AM on October 22, 2009 [5 favorites]


I live in Springfield. Maybe it's like this everywhere, but I'll be damned if there isn't a school bus stop every 200 feet. When I was a wee lad, you had to walk to the end of the street to the bus stop - but here in Springfield the buses practically stop in front of every kids house.

Also - they were taking a short cut through his yard. It's not like they were just out for a leisurely stroll. They were somewhere they had no business being.

Oh... and if you ask me he's kinda hot!
posted by matty at 9:40 AM on October 22, 2009


So, what do I do when I need to get changed? Am I allowed to be naked in my own home for the minute it takes?

Also, I don't quite understand the bus stop argument. First of all, as others have mentioned- nudity≠sexual. Particularly not when in your own home making coffee. Secondly, when the camera turns toward the house for the view from the bus stop, all I see is trees obscuring the houses. And wtf was this lady doing on his property and looking through his windows? I don't look through anyone's windows, and I certainly avoid walking on their property.

WTF America?!
posted by sunshinesky at 9:41 AM on October 22, 2009


Well, I've got my Halloween costume sorted out now.
posted by schoolgirl report at 9:42 AM on October 22, 2009


""Whoa! Mr. P's butt!" and I scurried back into my friends' room before he saw me. I'm pretty confident that this incident did not traumatize me any."

Well, you did become a liberal involved with the theater. Maybe it was that incident that put you on the bullet train to hell.
posted by klangklangston at 9:43 AM on October 22, 2009 [6 favorites]


I remember when I was 12 or 13 I was walking home from the park when I heard one of my neighbors In The Terrible Throws of Passion through her open window. I was too short to look inside but it sure sounded like her husband/boyfriend/life partner/vibrator was really giving her the business. I mean, really giving it to her. Like oh oh oh ohohohOHOHOHOHOHOOOOOHHHHHHHHH HHHHHHHHHHHHHHHHHH OHHHHHHHHH HHHHHHOHHOHOHOHHHHHHHHHHHHHHHH . That kind of thing.

I kind of chuckled to myself at the time and thought it was pretty funny. If my mom had been there with me at the time, she would have been mortified and probably called the cops as well. Me? I was just angry that I wasn't taller.
posted by Avenger at 9:43 AM on October 22, 2009 [4 favorites]


WTF America?!

Mostly this.
posted by Lutoslawski at 9:47 AM on October 22, 2009


Not to get all legal here, but there is still a requirement that one have a mens res in order to be guilty of a criminal act such as this. Obviously, the state has not considered the degree of proof that will be necessary on this element in the particular circumstances of this case.
posted by mygoditsbob at 9:49 AM on October 22, 2009 [2 favorites]


Come on, people! If Benjamin Franklin could take a daily, hour long air bath, then this guy should be allowed to eat breakfast sans clothes if he wants.
posted by onhazier at 9:51 AM on October 22, 2009 [2 favorites]


If convicted, Williamson could face up to a year in jail and a $2,000 fine.

I'm sure a good, self-righteous prosecutor will be able to tag-on a sexual predator charge before it's all over.

...the wife of a Fairfax County police officer...
And this is why this guy's ass is toast.
posted by Thorzdad at 9:55 AM on October 22, 2009 [3 favorites]


...the wife of a Fairfax County police officer...And this is why this guy's ass is toast.

Who was trespassing on private property.

If the legal precedent is that he KNOWINGLY was naked in order to be seen, he would have to
ASSUME that there are people trespassing on the property.

Makes no sense.

Whether or not she is the wife of a cop is not the point. It's the reason why the cops are CANVASSING the neighborhood, and why the arrest happened in the first place.

Even if he loses his first case, he can appeal, and eventually, once you get past the bible thumper yokels, he will win, and eventually get a settlement.

If he gets a great lawyer, mind you.
posted by gcbv at 10:01 AM on October 22, 2009 [1 favorite]


Apparently the woman has a different version of the story. According to her:
The woman told police it was 8:40 a.m. when she was walking her son to school along a path between houses. She said they first spotted Williamson naked in an open door in the car port of his home.

She also told police that Williamson then walked across the house to a large window, facing the way she was walking.
Even Fox has updated their story.
posted by frecklefaerie at 10:01 AM on October 22, 2009


READ TO THE END OF ericb'S TAMPA LINK! GENIUS 8 YEAR OLD.
posted by biffa at 10:02 AM on October 22, 2009 [2 favorites]


I'm quite certain that if I were a neighbor of his, and the police were canvassing the neighborhood, i'd answer the door in the buff, and i'd make sure all of my friends in the neighborhood were inclined to do so as well.
"Oops, just got out of the shower! But i can't imagine that you'd be using my tax dollars to canvas the neighborhood for any reason other than to protect me from a life/property endangering criminal, so i rushed to the door...oh, wait, nevermind. Cup o' coffee officer?"
posted by OHenryPacey at 10:03 AM on October 22, 2009 [2 favorites]


mullingitover, we actually tried something like that thought experiment, inadvertently, on Metafilter last year.
posted by roystgnr at 10:06 AM on October 22, 2009


HAHAAHAHAHAHA

just imagining this person strolling down my particular block of 8th avenue all MEN OF ISRAEL and MAN BAIT and 3D PORN
posted by kathrineg at 10:09 AM on October 22, 2009


Oh and everyone should purchase some comfy undies or live above/below ground floor
posted by kathrineg at 10:10 AM on October 22, 2009


I can't believe that "where other people are present" clause seems to include "or outside, or another house or building entirely, depending"... what in the fuck?
posted by shownomercy at 10:13 AM on October 22, 2009


or in any place where others are present

That seems pretty all-encompassing. How does one manage to do the waka-waka in the fine Commonwealth of Virginia? I won't vouch for the rest of y'all, but there's usually at least one "other" present when I do so.
posted by drlith at 10:13 AM on October 22, 2009 [2 favorites]


On the plus side, in some states it would probably be legal for him to shoot them for being in his yard.
posted by Artw at 10:13 AM on October 22, 2009


Whether or not she is the wife of a cop is not the point.

I can assure you, the fact that she is a cop's wife will carry a whole lot more weight in the prosecutor's/judge's eyes than it would if she were just an average housewife. It's that whole "thin blue line" thing. Law enforcement is a family, top-to-bottom.
posted by Thorzdad at 10:14 AM on October 22, 2009 [7 favorites]


Y'know, if we can find a married couple who let their two-year old run around naked, I'll bet we can get a good conspiracy case going.
posted by Forrest Greene at 10:16 AM on October 22, 2009


And contributing to the delinquency of a minor.
posted by mazola at 10:18 AM on October 22, 2009


Surprised the Washington Post hasn't picked up on this story.

Yes, I suspect there's more to this story if the local media hasn't yet published anything. Not to imply that the NY Daily News is not a stellar news org (actually don't know much about them) but given that the first place it's picked up is a few states away, I wonder if this guy was shopping his story around a bit and they were the first ones who bit, while the local news organizations are investigating a bit more.

I'm inclined to think there's more to the story, but that's probably because a few years ago I lived in a neighborhood in DC that had some dude who was getting into unfinished or unsold condos along a major pedestrian walkway, standing right in the window, and flashing people as they walked by. Flashers [not saying this guy is one, just saying it's possible] always have some story about how they are so misunderstood, they were just peeing outside right next to a schoolground, or just doing X in the nude, totally innocent, couldn't help that someone saw them now could they?

I don't think people should be arrested for walking around nekkid in their apartments. I also don't think flashers should be able to flash with impunity by virtue of being on private property. I reserve judgment until there's more facts on this one, I think.

On preview: aha! So there is more to the story that the local news is picking up on.
posted by iminurmefi at 10:19 AM on October 22, 2009 [2 favorites]


A similar case went to the Supreme Court of Canada. Ok not similar, a man was arrested by for being seen masturbating near his window in his apartment. Still this was the result of the case:

The court acquitted Daryl Clark of Nanaimo on Thursday, ruling that his living room could not be considered a public place under the Criminal Code even though he could be partially viewed from outside.
posted by skullbee at 10:27 AM on October 22, 2009 [1 favorite]


From the update on the Fox5News story:

FOX 5 also spoke with some of Williamson's roommates, and they said they believed Eric was drunk on Monday morning when they were all leaving for work around 5 a.m. The alleged exposure happened around 8:30 a.m. Williamson, however, says he was drinking on Sunday night, but was not drunk on Monday morning.

Man, your roommates have got to not like you much to tell the media you were drunk at 5am on Monday morning. Ouch.

Also, I call bullshit on his claim that it was dark outside at 8:30am and so he had "no idea" that anyone could see him. Springfield ain't that far away from where I live, and the sun has been rising around 7:15am this past week. It's definitely pretty bright outside by 8:30am.
posted by iminurmefi at 10:28 AM on October 22, 2009


Clearly we need all kinds of maps and line-of-sight diagrams. Any out of work JFK conspiracy theorists that could apply 3D computer skills to it would be good too.
posted by Artw at 10:29 AM on October 22, 2009 [1 favorite]


Peep not at a keyhole, lest ye be TOTALLY AWARE OF MY JUNK.
posted by adipocere at 10:30 AM on October 22, 2009 [5 favorites]


I wonder if this guy was shopping his story around a bit and they were the first ones who bit...

Oh, come on. BTW -- Google News currently indicates > 80 articles (from all over the world).
posted by ericb at 10:30 AM on October 22, 2009


So there is more to the story that the local news is picking up on.

Being fed information from the police is not the same as picking up on a story. The witness was not quoted or interviewed, the police report was summarized and provided to try him in the press.
posted by peeedro at 10:32 AM on October 22, 2009


It would not surprise me the least if it turns out this cop has a vendetta against the naked guy.
posted by five fresh fish at 10:34 AM on October 22, 2009


This sort of nonsense is why I live in the woods rather than a neighborhood.
posted by TedW at 11:22 AM on October 22


That's what I came to say.

On the plus side, in some states it would probably be legal for him to shoot them for being in his yard.
posted by Artw at 12:13 PM on October 22


Well, in Texas, it would depend on if it was light out at the time or not. If dark, totally legal to shoot them. If light, you must give one warning for them to leave the property and they have to ignore it, then you can shoot them.

I like living on rural property completely surrounded by tree cover. The rare times I feel a need to be naked on my front porch, I can.
posted by threeturtles at 10:38 AM on October 22, 2009 [1 favorite]


I also don't think flashers should be able to flash with impunity by virtue of being on private property.

Even on their private property? Then what's the point of private property?

Here's how proper grown-ups deal with a naked neighborhood man in the window:
1. Knock on his front door.
2. When he opens the door, point out that his nudity can be seen.
3. That's it. The rest is up to him.

Most naked people in windows are most likely just not aware they are being seen. Maybe simply informing the guy and leaving it at that will take care of it.

jeez.
posted by grubi at 10:39 AM on October 22, 2009 [6 favorites]


I have a distant relative, Childe Hassam, who was an American impressionist painter in the late nineteenth/early twentieth centuries. Next time you see a photo or video of the Oval Office, look for a vertical-format painting of an American flag hanging down from a pole sticking out from a building, with a parade passing below. That's one of his.

There's a story that when Childe was involved with the Old Lyme, CT, artist's colony he was out in a field plein-air painting one day, when a crowd of yokels started building up, watching the creative type at work. His response was to strip naked & charge at them, yelling.

They scattered & as far as I know, no one called the cops. But I guess as an artist, you used to be cut some slack not usually granted to the unartly.
posted by Forrest Greene at 10:39 AM on October 22, 2009 [2 favorites]


I guess as an artist, you used to be cut some slack not usually granted to the unartly

also, that might be another 'new england is different' thing. "he may be crazy, but t'aint my lookout."
posted by lodurr at 10:43 AM on October 22, 2009


Also, I call bullshit on his claim that it was dark outside at 8:30am and so he had "no idea" that anyone could see him.

Maybe he meant that it was dark inside? At any rate, if it was light outside, it would have been much more difficult to see into the house then if it was dark outside and interior lights were on.
posted by amro at 10:48 AM on October 22, 2009


Yes, I don't believe flashers** should be able to stand in the open door of a house and intentionally flash people, even when they own the property. I believe private property rights are important, but I don't think the "point" of them is to allow people total freedom from all laws. I mean, how then do you argue that people don't have the right to (say) beat their children in the privacy of their own home? Obviously there are some limits to the "my home is my castle" sort of argument. Either intentionally flashing people should be against the law, or it shouldn't: you're either causing some harm to the people you are flashing [make it illegal] or you're not [let it be legal everywhere, not only on your private property].


**Just to be clear: when I say "flasher" I don't mean anyone who has been seen naked, like "whoops I accidently flashed someone because I didn't realize my blouse was unbuttoned / my fly was down / my skirt was tucked into pantyhouse." I'm talking about the people who intentionally get their rocks off by finding unsuspecting people and forcing them to be unwilling participants in their little sexual game. I have no idea whether this is the case with the individual in question, but I think it's one explanation for why the police might be checking to see if this guy has a history of the behavior, and why he was arrested.
posted by iminurmefi at 10:51 AM on October 22, 2009 [2 favorites]


I want to know what sort of school doesn't start until 9 o'clock, and then figure out why I couldn't have gone there as a kid. Every school I ever went to started at 8 am sharp.
posted by Caduceus at 10:53 AM on October 22, 2009


When I was last at my parents my Dad came out of the bathroom butt naked and searched the main room for his magazine. At one point he was stood by the window, hands on hips, surveying possible hunting locations as people walked past the house. The window is five feet from the road.

The many reasons why I don't understand why he isn't in jail.
posted by vbfg at 10:55 AM on October 22, 2009


It's getting so a guy can't even eat breakfast naked anymore.
posted by ZenMasterThis at 10:56 AM on October 22, 2009 [1 favorite]


Everyone seems to be jumping to conclusions too soon, here.

As has recently been discussed on this site, it's a fact that lots of men are creeps. Sure, this guy is innocent until proven guilty, of course. But there's the distinct possibility that he is a creep. What would you think if it's true, that he was naked in an open doorway of his house, made eye contact with the woman and her kid, and then walked to the front of his house, just so he could expose himself to them again?

I don't know if that happened, of course, and I don't even know if doing something like that is illegal if you remain on your own property the whole time (although I have to think it is--if I sat on my porch naked, pointedly showing my nakedness to strangers, while, something's wrong if that's not illegal). But it could have happened, and it would be a good thing if that is illegal.

So let's wait and see if he actually was being deliberately/aggressively/maliciously creepy, before rushing to his defense and hailing him as a martyr for the rights of naked people everywhere. Although I know that will be hard for a lot of people to do, since it there appears to be a kneejerk reaction among a significant minority of MeFites that police = bad, and so the woman is immediately vilified since her husband is a cop.
posted by notswedish at 10:58 AM on October 22, 2009


Bare (hee!) ye witness to the wisdom of Ed Abbey: "If you can't piss in your own front yard, you live too close to town."
posted by 1f2frfbf at 11:00 AM on October 22, 2009 [5 favorites]


"Williamson told Fox News today (auto video play and browser resize warning) that after the report, 5-6 police officers came into his home unannounced, entered his bedroom, and arrested him."*
posted by ericb at 11:01 AM on October 22, 2009


As has recently been discussed on this site, it's a fact that lots of men are creeps.

But it's illogical to assume all men are. Especially if they're naked.

Shit, it's not like you'll EVER see me nude, but to get the vapors from the nude human form? In this day and age? My standard answer: grow up.
posted by grubi at 11:04 AM on October 22, 2009 [4 favorites]


Although I know that will be hard for a lot of people to do, since it there appears to be a kneejerk reaction among a significant minority of MeFites that police = bad, and so the woman is immediately vilified since her husband is a cop.

It's a fact that lots of cops are creeps.
posted by furiousxgeorge at 11:05 AM on October 22, 2009 [13 favorites]


I think it's one explanation for why the police might be checking to see if this guy has a history of the behavior, and why he was arrested.

So someone slips up and does something that may or not be a crime and you think it's okay that they begin digging into his past?

Sounds like a bit of poor logic, if you ask me.






And, yes, I know: you didn't.
posted by grubi at 11:05 AM on October 22, 2009


Or we could, I dunno, go with "innocent until proven guilty." Which is a step up from "innocent until proven male (since lots of men are creeps)."
posted by adipocere at 11:06 AM on October 22, 2009 [9 favorites]


In the Fox News interview, Williamson says that the police came into his house, into his bedroom, handcuffed him and took him to the police station. He claims that they called him a 'pervert' and even called his work, asking if they knew he was exposing himself.
posted by ericb at 11:08 AM on October 22, 2009 [1 favorite]


the woman is immediately vilified since her husband is a cop

No, the woman is vilified because she was trespassing to get her view, and isn't being prosecuted for it because her husband is a cop.
posted by nomisxid at 11:08 AM on October 22, 2009 [12 favorites]


I'd say since the majority of men are not creeps, it's poor reasoning to assume they all are.

Or, rather, we all are.

Because some of us aren't.

As far as you know.

posted by grubi at 11:09 AM on October 22, 2009


I used to live with a guy who, because he worked close to our house and had long breaks, would come home and watch porn and jerk off, with all the windows and blinds open.

When asked, his response was always, "If they don't want to see me jerking off, they shouldn't be looking through my windows."

The girls who lived next door always had their blinds closed and wouldn't ever talk to us or come to our parties.
posted by klangklangston at 11:11 AM on October 22, 2009 [5 favorites]


If it was Monday, Oct 12 - that was a very cloudy dismal day around here (Springfield). You could in a stretch say it was 'dark' outside since it wasn't that long after sunrise.

If it was Monday, Oct 19 - it was bright and sunny at the time.
posted by matty at 11:11 AM on October 22, 2009


As has recently been discussed on this site, it's a fact that lots of men are creeps.

Man, I wish my eyes could shoot lasers at you.
posted by Avenger at 11:12 AM on October 22, 2009 [8 favorites]


Sadly there also happens be a kneejerk reaction among many people that cops = always good.
posted by josher71 at 11:13 AM on October 22, 2009


furiousxgeorge: You're right, a lot of cops are creeps. I never said otherwise.

grubi: I never said all men are creeps. I said a lot of men are creeps--not a majority, but a significant number.

There is enough doubt about this story that it is rash to jump to the conclusion that he is an innocent victim of police brutality/American judicial asshattery. That may well be the case, but we just don't have enough information to determine that yet.
posted by notswedish at 11:16 AM on October 22, 2009


hehe, I was just in the middle of reading this thread and went out to the kitchen to check if my coffee had finished brewing; there was a bus across the street (a short bus!) and I was tempted to rip my pants off and start singing O Canada.
posted by mannequito at 11:16 AM on October 22, 2009


QED. He got caught because he wanted to get caught. If you think you have a defense because you are in the privacy of your own home, think again.

HAHAHA you are so funny.

It may surprise you to know there are people who think of not being clothed as "normal." Some people are actually not interested in wearing clothes when not necessary. I'm sure its fun to assume they are all passive-aggressively trying to get "caught" for they ghastly indecency, but usually I think its about comfort and convenience rather than exhibitionism.
posted by cbecker333 at 11:18 AM on October 22, 2009 [1 favorite]


OK EVERYBODY LISTEN:

I never said he was guilty! I said there's a chance he may be in the wrong, and we shouldn't jump to conclusions that this is another morality tale about the sad state of America or the evil nature of police before all the facts are in.

I do not believe that men are all creeps. I do not believe that cops are infallible. Far from it. But man = creep and cop = right is a distinct possibility IN THIS CASE.

Please go back and read my comment carefully before wishing for my death via eye-lasers.
posted by notswedish at 11:20 AM on October 22, 2009


it's a fact that lots of men are creeps

Comments that paint an entire section of humanity as being a certain way really aren't constructive or useful.
posted by Brandon Blatcher at 11:22 AM on October 22, 2009


What would you think if it's true, that he was naked in an open doorway of his house, made eye contact with the woman and her kid, and then walked to the front of his house, just so he could expose himself to them again?

You know, I know the right answer here is, "he's a creep," but honestly, that would be pretty funny. "Hey, how 'bout this hog? Didn't get enough? Here it is again. Bam!" I realize that this makes me a bad person. I'm okay with that.
posted by uncleozzy at 11:22 AM on October 22, 2009 [1 favorite]


Shit, it's not like you'll EVER see me nude, but to get the vapors from the nude human form? In this day and age? My standard answer: grow up.

grubi, I don't mean to be disrepectful or pull the "you can't possibly understand because you're a MAN," but I am guessing that (1) you've never been flashed and (2) the fact you're a dude and thus are less likely to have been the unwilling target of other people's inappropriate sexual behavior might be a block for you in understanding why intentional flashing is a problem and worthy of legislating about.

I'm very laid back about naked bodies. I think it's stupid that people get freaked out about things like breastfeeding in public and Robert Mapplethorpe exhibits and little kids running around naked. I believe the "think of the CHILDREN!" argument is nearly always cause for skepticism. That said, I've seen naked people in public who were not flashers (some of whom were unclothed accidently and some of whom were unclothed intentionally) and I've been flashed, and there's no way to mistake the two. They're not even in the same league. Flashers really are getting off on shocking and potentially scaring you, and it's a really shitty thing to do that has less to do with the nakedness than it does with forcing someone to be a participant in your weird sexual experiences. It's scary to be flashed. I know that sounds kinda stupid, but there it is. I get that if you've never been flashed, or you haven't really given it much thought, it seems like the outrage must be about the public display of naughty bits, but that's not really what it's about at all when we're talking about flashers.
posted by iminurmefi at 11:22 AM on October 22, 2009 [7 favorites]


What would you think if it's true, that he was naked in an open doorway of his house, made eye contact with the woman and her kid, and then walked to the front of his house, just so he could expose himself to them again?

I'd say, who cares? Do you have any idea how unharmful seeing a penis is? Do you have any idea how bad jail is - and how it fucks up your life afterward?

I would absolutely still think that what was warranted was a warning by a police officer privately, and no charges filed. And if the person did it again, I'd think a mental health hearing would be the first thing suggested, not jail.

I'm no prude, I might well be up for a little indecent exposure under the right circumstances, but you'd have to be crazy to do it on your own property to people who know you and simply guarantee to get caught.


Really, the whole story the police tell reeks of bullshit. No one would do this at dawn on a Monday morning while nursing a hangover and getting ready for work!

And the whole "trespassing" aspect is very weird. I have to believe that there's some right-of-way through his property, or else the whole thing seems obviously dumb.
posted by lupus_yonderboy at 11:23 AM on October 22, 2009 [1 favorite]


So is this the hoax of the week, then? I await CCTV footage of what really happened. No discrete blurring, please.
posted by Paid In Full at 11:24 AM on October 22, 2009


OK EVERYBODY LISTEN:

I never said he was guilty!


Do you really have to go all out talking about how this guy may be a creepy sex offender before the facts are in though?

That is pretty tough on the reputation, people are being a lot less reckless in presuming innocence.
posted by furiousxgeorge at 11:25 AM on October 22, 2009 [1 favorite]


grubi: I never said all men are creeps. I said a lot of men are creeps--not a majority, but a significant number

Really? And what number would that be? 10%? 20% 30% Or is the answer that you don't actually know?
posted by greycap at 11:27 AM on October 22, 2009


"...just don't have enough information to determine that yet..."

I daresay Fox, uh, News is a poor place to look for reliable information on any subject.
posted by Forrest Greene at 11:29 AM on October 22, 2009


iminurmefi, I agree. But regardless, I don't think it's fair to assume anything in this case. At all. Especially since a lot of the assumptions smell like there's a personal agenda behind them.

But, to be sure, you have a salient point.
posted by grubi at 11:29 AM on October 22, 2009


Oh, and, just for the record, I have been flashed. Twice.
posted by grubi at 11:30 AM on October 22, 2009


No one would do this at dawn on a Monday morning while nursing a hangover and getting ready for work!

Why not, pray tell?
posted by grubi at 11:31 AM on October 22, 2009


Were I him, I would be peevishly tempted to create some kind of art piece by replacing my large window with a translucent shower door, and, with the use of a fish tank water pump, a RealDoll, and something from FuckingMachines.com, recreate a bit from Kentucky Fried Movie, then use soap to scrawl CATHOLIC HIGH SCHOOL GIRLS IN TROUBLE right above it. Bet the CC&Rs don't cover that.
posted by adipocere at 11:32 AM on October 22, 2009 [1 favorite]


Ah, her husband is a cop? There's that final penny. I was puzzled because any citizen who calls the cops for something like this would get a polite brush-off at worst, or a casual "Hey, close your blinds" phone call to the guy at best. The overreaction is now explained. Law in these fine United states is enforced a lot more equally if you have personal pull with the Department.
posted by rusty at 11:36 AM on October 22, 2009 [5 favorites]


He claims that they ... called his work, asking if they knew he was exposing himself.

Even though there are so many parts of this story that smell like the police are out of control, if this is true it's the worst part. Even if this dude was doing something 100% creepy what business do the cops have calling his work and telling them about it? There's this whole fair trial, innocent until proven guilty thing we have going on here. Trying to get someone fired is not the police department's job.
posted by aspo at 11:36 AM on October 22, 2009 [3 favorites]


it's a fact that lots of men are creeps

Comments that paint an entire section of humanity as being a certain way really aren't constructive or useful.


I read notswedish as saying, perhaps a little inarftully, that there are a lot of creepy men in the world (which is undeniably true), not that men in general are creeps.
posted by brain_drain at 11:37 AM on October 22, 2009


"Flashers really are getting off on shocking and potentially scaring you, and it's a really shitty thing to do ... It's scary to be flashed."

My wife, in her twenties, used to work in a basement office in Boston with a window that looked out onto A Street, a kind of funky area near South Station. She glanced up one day to see some guy floggin' his dummy for her benefit. She jumped out of her chair, ran upstairs & out of the building, roaring, & chased the guy away so fast he almost broke his neck tripping over his trench coat.

I may be a creep for saying so, but there's more to being a woman than clutching pearls & fainting on divans.
posted by Forrest Greene at 11:38 AM on October 22, 2009 [4 favorites]


I have been flashed. Twice.

Twice that you know of. You may have been flashed thousands of times by people inside their own houses as you walked past.

You could clean up on lawsuits.
posted by rokusan at 11:39 AM on October 22, 2009 [2 favorites]


Surprised the Washington Post hasn't picked up on this story.

Surprised the New Yorker hasn't launched a contest to make up cute animal names for the guy's penis.
posted by rokusan at 11:40 AM on October 22, 2009 [1 favorite]


Sorry to assume otherwise, grubi.

It seemed to me when I first read the thread that there was a lot of outrage along the lines of "how could this possibly have happened, there's no plausible reason for the cops to ever get involved other than arresting the woman for trespassing," and I thought, hey, I can think of at least one reason that seems plausible for the cops to get involved.

Maybe he's a sleazy flasher who has a habit of doing this. Maybe he's just an innocent guy who likes making coffee in the nude [FULL DISCLOSURE: I never get dressed before making coffee] who was unlucky enough to have a nosy neighbor married to a policeman.

Maybe this is an example of a thinly-sourced FPP thrown up before all the facts were in, just to make a political point and let all mefites bask in the soothing, soothing bile of rage against the state.

We'll never know.
posted by iminurmefi at 11:40 AM on October 22, 2009 [3 favorites]


Tresspassers will be shot flashed.
posted by ODiV at 11:43 AM on October 22, 2009 [1 favorite]


Twice that you know of. You may have been flashed thousands of times by people inside their own houses as you walked past.

Those perverts!

You could clean up on lawsuits.

Saaaaaaaaay....
posted by grubi at 11:43 AM on October 22, 2009


It's scary to be flashed.

Not always, it isn't. I've been flashed at least four or five times and I always thought it was hilarious, particularly the guys who went to a lot of trouble, like cutting off their pants legs and holding them up with suspenders (London tube) or wrapping battery powered flashing Christmas lights around their junk (Baltimore.) The ones who don't make as much of an effort and just yank it out are still not particularly scary, just gross and funny. I mean, they can't really chase you very well, what with their pants around their knees.
posted by mygothlaundry at 11:44 AM on October 22, 2009 [3 favorites]


"Comments that paint an entire section of humanity as being a certain way really aren't constructive or useful."

Unless it's Canadians as polite, helpful awesome people in which case paint away.

"Flashers really are getting off on shocking and potentially scaring you, and it's a really shitty thing to do that has less to do with the nakedness than it does with forcing someone to be a participant in your weird sexual experiences."

Wasn't too long ago that a woman showing her ankle in public was all caps shocking!. Given the nature of Rule 34 there must be at least a few people who still either think that way or get off on showing others their ankles. What a smörgåsbord of either outrage or titillation the modern western world must be for them.
posted by Mitheral at 11:46 AM on October 22, 2009


...there are so many parts of this story that smell like the police are out of control... Even if this dude was doing something 100% creepy what business do the cops have calling his work and telling them about it?

That got me, too. What, they didn't know where he lived?

Based on the overreaction, and the weird way it was taken so seriously, I now have a fully-formed image of the complainant as a nasty piece of work, the kind of person who can ignore laws about, say, trespassing, but still pulls out the "my husband is a cop and you are so in trouble now!" card when she wants to feel superior.

(Yes, I base this on nothing but broad stereotypes and my own instinctive need to connect scattered dots into a story. Maybe she's a saint.)
posted by rokusan at 11:48 AM on October 22, 2009 [2 favorites]


*sigh*

Okay, okay. There are many women who are not scared by flashers. Maybe only shrinking violets and those prone to fainting find it scary. Maybe I was scared because I was pretty young (12) and alone in a city and had no friggin' clue to how to react, because pulling your coat open and exposing yourself is a behavior that can be read as aggressive or at least unbalanced.

Not everyone is scared by flashers, no. However, like catcalling and other inappropriate sexual overtures, it can be scary. (Or funny, or annoying, or something you barely notice at all.)
posted by iminurmefi at 11:48 AM on October 22, 2009 [3 favorites]


Maybe this is an example of a thinly-sourced FPP thrown up before all the facts were in, just to make a political point and let all mefites bask in the soothing, soothing bile of rage against the state.

My personal beef with this is not the incident (as we do not have enough facts to go on), but that it is illustrative of an attitude towards nudity in general that bothers me. I've seen my parents naked. Plenty of times. Ultimately, it had no effect on me -- I've no weird sexual proclivities (in fact, I'm quite boring) -- but too many Morality Patrols are equating nudity with perversion.

Shame about the human body is a weird thing. I'd personally rather not see my coworkers naked, but as an adult, I should have the maturity, if confronted with such horrors!!, to ask 'em to knock it off or simply turn my head.

As an aside, each time I was flashed, I found the best defense. Indeed they are trying to shock and scare -- that's why I laugh. Point and laugh. It shows 'em I'm neither shocked or scared, but it belittles their effort as well as their junk.
posted by grubi at 11:49 AM on October 22, 2009 [1 favorite]


If God wanted us to be naked, we'd be born that way.
posted by coolguymichael at 11:51 AM on October 22, 2009 [5 favorites]


It's scary to be flashed.

I was walking with a girlfriend down by Battery Park one night, pretty empty, maybe a dozen people in sight. Some raincoated reject from a David Lynch movie flashed us on the sidewalk.

She pointed and laughed. The guy ran away.

Poor thing.
posted by rokusan at 11:53 AM on October 22, 2009 [1 favorite]


grubi - that's the word i was looking - perversion.

i meant to say earlier that nude/naked !=perversion
posted by sio42 at 11:58 AM on October 22, 2009


wrapping battery powered flashing Christmas lights around their junk...they can't really chase you very well, what with their pants around their knees.

Put that to "Yakety Sax" on YooChoob and the internet will come to a grinding halt.
posted by Halloween Jack at 11:58 AM on October 22, 2009 [2 favorites]


I'm tired of and nauseated by the "men are creeps" thread which has been brought into this discussion. It's not cogent to the matter at hand, and borders on the "oh noes, stranger danger" kerfuffle discussion we had not recently. Stop it now, apologize, and try to find something real to say.
posted by hippybear at 11:59 AM on October 22, 2009


I'm a man.
I'm not a cop.
I'm not a creep (at least no one has pointed it out).
I have no problem whatsoever with a woman flashing me.
In fact, I encourage it.
posted by HyperBlue at 12:03 PM on October 22, 2009 [1 favorite]


Grrr. "not recently?" Perhaps better "not long ago" or "recently", but not that bastard child of the two.
posted by hippybear at 12:07 PM on October 22, 2009


I don't think an apology is necessary for bringing "Hey, some guys are creeps." and "Hey, sometimes the police do get things right." into the discussion. There are certainly some wackos getting off on exposing themselves and their behaviour is definitely sexual harrassment.

Telling women who have been harrassed in this fashion that it's no big deal isn't especially helpful.

That's not to say sexual harrassment is what happened in this incident. Hopefully, we'll eventually get a bigger picture (heh), but that might never happen. Above all, I hope it's handled justly by the police.
posted by ODiV at 12:12 PM on October 22, 2009 [5 favorites]


I think the different reactions I'm seeing here of "lol naked man!" and "civil liberties abuse!" are perfectly summed up by the Related Videos on youtube which feature Funny Animal Sex and Man Arrested For Holding a Plant, in that order.
posted by Partario at 12:12 PM on October 22, 2009


"Comments that paint an entire section of humanity as being a certain way really aren't constructive or useful."

Unless it's about "average Fox viewers" or people that live in a different part of the country. That seems to be OK.
posted by TheFlamingoKing at 12:12 PM on October 22, 2009 [1 favorite]


I first heard of this on the local news and they way they presented it...the guy does sound creepy. Plus he was under stress, lost his job, drinking...IANAJ (I am not a juror) but that's the way it was spun for us locally, anyway.

I didn't catch the part where she was the wife of an officer. It wouldn't surprise me if a call of that sort would get police involvement though, Fairfax County has a lot of (over)protective parent-types.

Nothing wrong with being naked, but flashing is an aggressive, frightening, sexual act. Please to see this is you don't get that.
posted by JoanArkham at 12:13 PM on October 22, 2009


Okay, here is my flashing story.

I'm working at a public library, little old lady comes up to the desk:

"There's a man in the back showing his thing."

*little old lady glances furtively around*

whispers: "And he is big."

Rightly or wrongly, I almost blew my eyeballs out trying to stifle a laugh. Called security but of course he was gone by time they showed up.
posted by marxchivist at 12:13 PM on October 22, 2009 [10 favorites]


Oh, I wasn't directing that "telling women it's no big deal," comment at you, hippybear. I just noticed it kind of reads that way so I'm clarifying.
posted by ODiV at 12:14 PM on October 22, 2009


For the curious: § 18.2-387. Indecent exposure.

Every person who intentionally makes an obscene display or exposure of his person, or the private parts thereof, in any public place, or in any place where others are present, or procures another to so expose himself, shall be guilty of a Class 1 misdemeanor. No person shall be deemed to be in violation of this section for breastfeeding a child in any public place or any place where others are present.


I read this statute and the words "obscene" and "public place" just leap out. I have no background in indecent exposure (well, not as a lawyer, anyway), but I'm pretty sure a plain naked person in their home is not obscene. Not everything you don't want to see is obscene.

I am disturbed by the argument that this is obscene because it is like flashing someone in a park. Yes, I can sort of imagine someone being disturbed and upset when they accidentally catch sight of a naked man in his house. I do not accept that the law has to put someone on the sex offender registry every time someone might be disturbed and upset. Playing the "but I'm a woman" card here is ridiculous and offensive. I think it's anti-feminist to believe that the state has to blast a man every time some wilting flower might be upset.

Trying to make this about "What if the man lured them up to his window and then suddenly got naked," or something, is part of the same problem.
posted by grobstein at 12:16 PM on October 22, 2009 [2 favorites]


grubi points and laughs: "It shows 'em I'm neither shocked or scared, but it belittles their effort as well as their junk."

I think I may have posted this notion here once before; if so, please pardon my redundancy. I read a LTTE once, from a person who had done time. He was addressing the blame-the-victim mentality & difficulty of obtaining convictions seen in many rape cases. His suggestion was to file charges of indecent exposure, instead. It's an easier conviction, resulting in sex offender registration, & presenting no possibility of playing Mr. Big Stuff Raper to gain a rep in jail. If you're an indecent exposer, the other cons will also just point & laugh.

Maybe iminurmefi was scared because: "...I was pretty young (12) and alone in a city and had no friggin' clue to how to react..."

Ah, now that, of course, is a different situation than the one I described my wife handling. Still, if you could have generated a similar reaction—angrily yelling, maybe chasing—there's a good chance it might've worked the same. Laughing, not so much: a twelve year old would probably be small & non-threatening enough to elicit a rage reaction rather than embarrassment or fear.

And as always in questionable situations, just getting away from there ASAP is probably safest.

I also want to add my voice to those who feel the original story absolutely reeks of a personal vendetta.
posted by Forrest Greene at 12:16 PM on October 22, 2009


Naked people in public can be funny, pathetic, or scary. It really depends on context.

1) I hung out with World Naked Bike Ride in Toronto this past summer. (No, I didn't plan to join -- they showed up when I cycled downtown to shop -- and yes, I stayed clothed. I didn't even take off my cycling gloves.) Verdict: lots of fun. I stayed to watch the drivers and pedestrians, not the cyclists, and reaction was generally positive. Even most people with kids treated it with the good humour it deserved.

2) I've been flashed a few times in public places with other people around, leading to me rolling eyes (age 13) or swearing a blue streak (age 11). Verdict: not funny, buddy, just pathetic. Fuck off.

3) When I was 14 and babysitting alone in a ground floor apartment one evening (exterior: dim; interior: bright), I heard a loud knock at the picture window, where the drapes had not yet been drawn shut. When I looked over, I saw a large man wearing nothing but a suede vest. He was masturbating energetically and yelling that he'd give me ten bucks to let him in the house. (His non-wanking hand was indeed holding a purple 10 dollar bill.) Verdict: scary as hell. I drew the drapes, checked the lock on the door, and called the cops.

So there are definitely some types of flashing that are creepy to scary, even to someone who is fine with casual nudity and who has not shrieked or grabbed pearls over other flashing incidents -- even when she was much younger.

The guy in this story could just be clueless (this seems most likely), he could be a passive-aggressive flasher who should be sentenced to frying bacon all morning -- naked -- at a busy greasy spoon, or he could be a real creep who wanted to freak someone out (least likely, but not impossible). But whatever you think happened here, please don't just sit there and say that being flashed can't be scary to anyone with any backbone. That's bullshit.
posted by maudlin at 12:19 PM on October 22, 2009 [2 favorites]


Wife of a cop? Outside at 5 in the morning with a seven-year-old?

Apart from superiority issues, I might ask what the hell she was doing with the kid in the guy's yard- if the kid was really there in the first place. This smacks of a set-up of some kind.
posted by dunkadunc at 12:24 PM on October 22, 2009


Telling women who have been harrassed in this fashion that it's no big deal isn't especially helpful.

Did someone here do that?
posted by grubi at 12:34 PM on October 22, 2009


Naked people in public can be funny, pathetic, or scary. It really depends on context.
Yeah, you're right and I didn't mean to be facile. My experiences with flashers have not been scary but that's purely specific to me. Sorry.

The thing with this story, though, is that by all accounts the guy did not leave his house. Whether he was trying to be seen or not, that's still a far cry from being out on a city street or banging on somebody's window and the whole community seems to have overreacted just a tad. I mean, letters home from the school? Calling his job? Five police officers? Either the entire story is a hoax or there's a lot that has not yet come out or this is a completely ridiculous overreaction to one naked guy in his own home.
posted by mygothlaundry at 12:40 PM on October 22, 2009


When you were here before
Couldn't look you in the eye
You're just like an angel
Your skin makes me cry
You float like a feather
In a beautiful world
I wish I was special
You're so fucking special
But I 'm a creep
I 'm a weirdo
What the hell am I doing here?
I don't belong here

I don't care if it hurts
I want to have control
I want a perfect body
I want a perfect soul
I want you to notice
When I'm not around
You're so fucking special
I wish I was special

But I'm a creep
I'm a weirdo
posted by Xurando at 12:42 PM on October 22, 2009


maudlin calls bullshit: "But whatever you think happened here, please don't just sit there and say that being flashed can't be scary to anyone with any backbone."

Are you addressing me, sir? If so, I believe you may be incorrect in your assessment of my remarks. I said nothing about an action such as flashing not being scary to anyone, backbone or not.

What I did say, supported by example—in perhaps too much of a backhanded manner—was that there is a range of quite effective responses available to women rather than choosing to provide the creepy man with precisely the frightened & disgusted reaction he presumably seeks.
posted by Forrest Greene at 12:44 PM on October 22, 2009


Pardon me, that "sir" should be probably be "ma'am."
posted by Forrest Greene at 12:46 PM on October 22, 2009


Anyone who ever has been or ever might be naked in their own home should be disturbed by this.
posted by clockzero at 12:48 PM on October 22, 2009 [1 favorite]


After viewing the video this I can see that guy has the kind of face and lifestyle that just pisses off cops.
posted by wcfields at 12:48 PM on October 22, 2009 [3 favorites]


grubi: That's how I read this comment: there's more to being a woman than clutching pearls & fainting on divans. in response to It's scary to be flashed.

(and on preview I see that I misread Forrest Greene's comment, so apologies all around.)

I think it's probably mostly a matter of us sharing our personal experiences like we usually do, like in the birth-pain thread, which is totally cool and what I enjoy about Metafilter, but when taken in aggregate can sound a little dismissive sometimes.

Like someone saying "Hey, flashing can be scary." then we get five stories that say "It can be funny too." can feel a bit like we're dismissing that feeling even though it's just people sharing annecdotes.

Anyway, I'll stop bean-plating here. I'm getting my wisdom teeth out in ten minutes. :(
posted by ODiV at 12:56 PM on October 22, 2009


I was flashed, years ago, when I worked as a cashier in a grocery store (third shift, if it matters.)

I laughed.


But honestly, none of us was there for this particular flashing, and there are so many variables to the flashing experience...it's possible she's overreacting, but it's possible he acted in a threatening manner. It'll get sorted out, and the news media will be more than glad to report on every tidbit of info.
posted by St. Alia of the Bunnies at 12:56 PM on October 22, 2009


To be fair to the mother, the police did find his fingerprints all over his hands.
posted by Blazecock Pileon at 1:00 PM on October 22, 2009 [3 favorites]


What I did say, supported by example—in perhaps too much of a backhanded manner—was that there is a range of quite effective responses available to women rather than choosing to provide the creepy man with precisely the frightened & disgusted reaction he presumably seeks.

So what? Really now, I'm supposed to be an expert in flasher psychology? Who cares.

I know you're trying to be helpful or something but it's coming off as condescension.
posted by kathrineg at 1:00 PM on October 22, 2009 [4 favorites]


After viewing the video this I can see that guy has the kind of face and lifestyle that just pisses off cops.

Well, as Brandon Blatcher said in response to my earlier comments (which did no such thing, though I agree that I could have made my point more artfully*),

Comments that paint an entire section of humanity as being a certain way really aren't constructive or useful.

*I shouldn't have said, "lots of men are creeps," since, yeah, that probably implies that I believe "the majority of men are creeps." In fact, most all men are decent and not creeps. But a minority are.
posted by notswedish at 1:01 PM on October 22, 2009


In fact, most all men are decent and not creeps. But a minority are.

Oh, so NOW IT'S ABOUT MINORITIES.

Gawd, I don't even know WHY I even TRY to discuss ANYTHIN--

What's that?

Oh.
posted by grubi at 1:08 PM on October 22, 2009 [3 favorites]


On preview, ODiV sees: "...that I misread Forrest Greene's comment, so apologies all around"

Shucks. Thanks for providing, & being open to, the opportunity to clarify statements. If we keep this up, we might all become better writers & better readers, yes?

Nothing's black & white, it all depends on context, & "Courage is not the absence of fear, courage is feeling the fear, & acting anyway." Can't remember who said that.

Bon chance with the wisdom teeth. I'm scheduled for that pretty soon, myself. I hope to achieve a fashionable gauntness.
posted by Forrest Greene at 1:15 PM on October 22, 2009


>: After viewing the video this I can see that guy has the kind of face and lifestyle that just pisses off cops.

Which is exactly why the wife was snooping around in the guy's yard. The husband could have even put her up to it.
posted by dunkadunc at 1:16 PM on October 22, 2009


My experience being flashed (btw I'm a man): Years ago I was hitchhiking in Minneapolis. Someone stopped and I got in the car and noticed they had no pants or underwear on. I didn't miss a beat. I asked them how they were doing, told him where I was going. Carried on a normal conversation. When we got to my intersection, I thanked him for the ride. Got out and didn't look back and never showed a reaction. I'd like to think it killed him. No reaction. That's what it's all about.
posted by Xurando at 1:18 PM on October 22, 2009 [1 favorite]


Which is exactly why the wife was snooping around in the guy's yard. The husband could have even put her up to it.

Ooh, could you read some minds for me? I've got a business meeting soon and I'd like to have a leg up.
posted by kmz at 1:25 PM on October 22, 2009


Leg up?
Keep your pants on.
posted by Floydd at 1:33 PM on October 22, 2009 [1 favorite]


Fairfax County may be in Virginia, but it isn't all "Dukes of Hazzard" around here. The cops are not going to "set up" some random schmoe. And I think "snooping" is a bit strong. You never cut across someone's yard when walking to a bus stop?

If the guy's version of the story is true, it was a misunderstanding that got blown way out of proportion. If the woman's version is true it was creepy at best. I personally have no idea which version is true. Maybe something in the middle?
posted by JoanArkham at 1:33 PM on October 22, 2009 [1 favorite]


So if he's convicted, does he have to live in a sex offenders' encampment underneath a bridge?
posted by sebastienbailard at 1:34 PM on October 22, 2009 [3 favorites]


That's Florida.
posted by Artw at 1:37 PM on October 22, 2009


kathrineg goes to the trouble of expressing her indifference: "So what? Really now, I'm supposed to be an expert in flasher psychology? Who cares."

If you need to deal effectively with flashers—indeed, with anyone—considering their psychology might not be a bad idea.

kathrineg know[s I'm] trying to be: "...helpful or something but it's coming off as condescension."

Well, I think you may only be assuming I'm trying to be helpful. Most generous of you, though. May I suggest that, my willingness to clarify some statements aside, your interpretation of my tone of voice as condescending is not really my problem?

Forrest Greene: If we keep this up, we might all become better writers & better readers, yes?

One can only hope.

No one likes being mod-bounced. This part of this conversation is edging right up next to ceasing to "Help maintain a healthy, respectful discussion by focusing comments on the issues, topics, and facts at hand—not at other members of the site," so I think I'll abandon it here. You may consider that you have frightened me away, if you like.
posted by Forrest Greene at 1:37 PM on October 22, 2009


Years ago I was hitchhiking in Minneapolis. Someone stopped and I got in the car and noticed they had no pants or underwear on. I didn't miss a beat. I asked them how they were doing, told him where I was going. Carried on a normal conversation. When we got to my intersection, I thanked him for the ride.

Hey, buddy: no-one rides for free. Gas, grass, or assless chaps!
posted by grubi at 1:47 PM on October 22, 2009 [2 favorites]


You never cut across someone's yard when walking to a bus stop?

Sure. It's still private property.
posted by grubi at 1:47 PM on October 22, 2009 [3 favorites]


notswedish : But there's the distinct possibility that he is a creep. What would you think if it's true, that he was naked in an open doorway of his house, made eye contact with the woman and her kid, and then walked to the front of his house, just so he could expose himself to them again?

I would think that, no matter how much of a creep the guy is, this still wouldn't have been an issue if the woman hadn't been on his property looking through his windows. I further think that the only person here who has demonstrated being a creep is the one who, absent a conviction, has taken it on themselves to inform people in the neighborhood that this guy is doing something "wrong" in his house.

As far as I'm concerned, the guy could be the biggest asshole in the world, standing in his living room practicing naked pin-wheel spinning with his dangly bits and if the only way to see him is to stand on his property, it's still no ones business but his own.
posted by quin at 1:49 PM on October 22, 2009 [5 favorites]


If you need to deal effectively with flashers—indeed, with anyone—considering their psychology might not be a bad idea.

There's not really any need to "deal effectively" with flashers in the way that you are suggesting though. Women who are victims of unwanted sexual advances shouldn't be expected to have any specific reaction to it.

I know that it doesn't sound like a big deal to suggest that a certain reaction would work better, but when the issue of sexual assault or harassment comes up it is extremely common for people to twist it around and say that somehow the victim should have done something differently to prevent it or shouldn't have been offended by it.
posted by burnmp3s at 1:56 PM on October 22, 2009


As a thought experiment, let's reverse the genders here. Roughly how many minutes do you think it would take to try and imprison a man who trespassed and peeped in a woman's window while she was naked?

I'm late to this and I'm sure someone has already said something along these lines, but I found this comment interesting. When I ran the thought experiment through my mind, I realize that in almost any version the conclusion I came to was that male sexuality was the presenting issue.

"Woman. Naked man in house. Police called." My mind immediately thinks "He is an exhibitionist."

"Man. Naked woman in house. Police called." My mind immediately thinks "He is a voyeur."

No commentary from me, I guess. I was just shocked by my own reaction thanks to the above comment.
posted by jefficator at 2:05 PM on October 22, 2009 [4 favorites]


"So what? Really now, I'm supposed to be an expert in flasher psychology? Who cares."

If you need to deal effectively with flashers—indeed, with anyone—considering their psychology might not be a bad idea.


I'll take a stab:

Well, the flasher's doing it to satisfy basic needs (and whims).

For some people, they get off on it; they draw sexual satisfaction from the flashee's reaction.

It could be a courting mechanism. The flasher in question may be overestimating how successful it could be, or could be completely underestimating/not understanding the range of responses.

Sometimes it's for humorous effect. It's a remarkably effective attention getting mechanism.

Sometimes it's a highly aggressive act, and can be correlated with sexual assault.

Sometimes it's a response to a generall relaxing of rules and codes of a party or festival (New Orleans, beads, tits, etc.)

... So yes, it's worth looking at flashing as it reflects people's response to their basic underlying needs and their way of looking at the world, and it's worth looking at the power dynamics involved between the flasher and flashee.

Generally, perverse behavior reveals a rich number of dynamic tensions and motivations, you shouldn't just ignore it as petty or unfathomable.

I'll let someone else have a go at "Flashing and the Male Gaze".
posted by sebastienbailard at 2:08 PM on October 22, 2009


Also.
posted by jefficator at 2:08 PM on October 22, 2009 [1 favorite]


The cops phoned up they guy's employer in what is obviously an attempt to get him fired: there is absolutely no legitimate reason to be calling the employer.

And that's what screams "vindictive cop family" to me.
posted by five fresh fish at 2:13 PM on October 22, 2009 [3 favorites]


Good thing he wasn't smoking, or he'd be in real trouble.
posted by RavinDave at 2:24 PM on October 22, 2009


I'm naked RIGHT NOW!

(Come and get me, coppers!)
posted by kyrademon at 2:27 PM on October 22, 2009 [1 favorite]


Come out with your pants up!
posted by peeedro at 2:28 PM on October 22, 2009 [3 favorites]


I started reading this thread, but I just had to post that I am reading the thread naked, posting naked, and plan on remaining naked for the rest of the day out of protest.
posted by msali at 2:32 PM on October 22, 2009 [2 favorites]


No one likes being mod-bounced. This part of this conversation is edging right up next to ceasing to "Help maintain a healthy, respectful discussion by focusing comments on the issues, topics, and facts at hand—not at other members of the site," so I think I'll abandon it here. You may consider that you have frightened me away, if you like.

What? Why would I try to frighten you away? You are reading that very personally.

I don't want to be schooled about the right way(s) to respond to flashers. Unsolicited advice is not always 100% welcome. Especially advice about the correct/uncorrect way to respond to unwanted sexual behaviors.
posted by kathrineg at 2:39 PM on October 22, 2009 [1 favorite]


I've read a bunch of stories on this today trying to piece together what actually happened, and the common thread running through all of them is that she was on private property when she saw him, and in his kitchen, the windows of which don't seem to be particularly conducive to looking into unless someone is REALLY looking. The reporter in the video is standing in front of the carport window and door she said she saw him through, and I'd have to be not just glancing but LOOKING to see anything through either of those windows ... unless I was right beside them.

It's the fact she was on his property when she saw him that disturbs me, because I guarantee if someone is cutting through my yard and looks in my kitchen windows, they may very well see me naked. I mean, I don't stand around naked in the kitchen in front of windows asking to be seen, but I have been known to run to the kitchen to stir chili on the stove before hopping into the shower, or making coffee in the morning mostly naked, or even going for a post-coitus glass of water.

My thoughts are, if someone is cutting through my yard and looking into my kitchen windows, they get what they deserve. Cut through my yard if you want, you can even look if you want, but you better not call the cops and complain about it. Of course, I'm a woman, and I'm betting had he been a woman this whole thing would have gone down very differently.

He might be a creepy flasher person (though I doubt it) and more may come out about the story, but as it stands now all I see is a cop's wife cutting through private property and being overly nosy and then offended by what she saw. She should be in trouble as well then.

I cut through a neighbor's yard once when I was running late for the bus to downtown. I wouldn't have noticed if there had been a dozen naked men waving their privates at me and jerking off, because I didn't look at the house for fear of seeing someone being angry about me cutting through their yard.
posted by Orb at 2:41 PM on October 22, 2009 [2 favorites]


Having been a small child in the late 70's/early '80s in a town with a large population of hippies, I will admit to having seen lots of naked adults--male and female--by the time I was five or six years old. Some of these were the parents of my friends. I don't think I was scarred, though the experience certainly made me grateful for being female, and therefore less likely to have to deal with back hair.
posted by thivaia at 2:41 PM on October 22, 2009 [2 favorites]


What's the adage about fences and neighbors?

Also, I'm going to rush to press "TRESSPASSERS WILL BE VIOLATED" signs.
posted by Eideteker at 2:44 PM on October 22, 2009 [2 favorites]


The officer and his wife should probably avoid Seattle around solstice time. [nekkid people and police coexisting without arrests]
posted by nomisxid at 2:47 PM on October 22, 2009


Forrest, what's with the kinda creepy bold italic narrative voice quoting?
posted by lazaruslong at 2:48 PM on October 22, 2009 [1 favorite]


burnmp3s doesn't feel women need to: " 'deal effectively' with flashers in the way that you are suggesting though. Women who are victims of unwanted sexual advances shouldn't be expected to have any specific reaction to it.

Well, we disagree, here, I think. Anyone coming under assault needs to deal effectively with it, or be content to suffer the consequences. That is a fact of life.

Effectiveness depends on context. I wouldn't say, personally, that I expect women—or people of any gender who are faced with any sort of unwelcome, unsavory display—to have any specific reaction to it, but I do hope they would present the most effective reaction they feel they can, considering the particular situation in which they find themselves.

In a case of the classic "Woo-hoo, lady, looka this!" lame-ass flasher, that might well consist of acting to remove one's self, or the offender, or both, from the vicinity. It might also, or instead, consist of, acting to shame or embarrass the offender, for the sakes of both education (of the offender) & of justice (for the offended party, & for that party's own personal empowerment, as well.)

It might consist of any of a number of other responses, including no response at all. It all depends on the offended party's own judgment of the situation & of their capabilities.

A drooling drunk with a knife & an erection is a different situation, calling for a different response.

burnmp3s feels: "...it is extremely common for people to twist it around and say that somehow the victim should have done something differently to prevent it or shouldn't have been offended by it."

You were careful not to say that I, myself, said that, but in case you hope to imply I did, please be aware I said no such thing.
posted by Forrest Greene at 2:48 PM on October 22, 2009


-italic

Seriously, stop it. Kinda freakin me out.
posted by lazaruslong at 2:49 PM on October 22, 2009


So if he's convicted, does he have to live in a sex offenders' encampment underneath a bridge?

No.
"The indecent-exposure charge is a misdemeanor, which means if Williamson is convicted, his name will not appear on sex offender lists. The Virginia statute makes it illegal for any person to intentionally make "an obscene display or exposure of his person, or the private parts thereof, in any public place, or in any place where others are present."*
posted by ericb at 2:53 PM on October 22, 2009


Well, we disagree, here, I think. Anyone coming under assault needs to deal effectively with it, or be content to suffer the consequences. That is a fact of life.

And...

It might consist of any of a number of other responses, including no response at all. It all depends on the offended party's own judgment of the situation & of their capabilities.


OK, so what is your role in this scenario?
posted by kathrineg at 2:55 PM on October 22, 2009


lazaruslong feels: that this way of quoting people is freaking him out.
posted by quin at 2:57 PM on October 22, 2009 [2 favorites]


quin feels the need to interrupt this thread with a "joke": lazaruslong feels: that this way of quoting people is freaking him out.
posted by kathrineg at 2:59 PM on October 22, 2009


just kidding quin, sorry for the scare quotes
posted by kathrineg at 3:00 PM on October 22, 2009


The officer and his wife should probably avoid Seattle around solstice time.

Fuckin' hippies!
posted by ericb at 3:02 PM on October 22, 2009


It's interesting that the huge discussion of flashing has popped up in a thread about a man, in his house, who just hadn't (allegedly) gotten dressed yet.

I too, would like to see the woman cited for trespassing. Whatever happened to being the king (or queen) of your castle. Personally, naked time after a shower is a good way to fully dry off. Sometimes, naked time just feels nice. Curtains get drawn, but really, why the hell should someone be looking in my windows?

What's next? Calling the police because, due to open windows, you can hear a couple having sex near a bus stop for kids? Oh no. Won't someone think of the children...
posted by Ghidorah at 3:04 PM on October 22, 2009 [1 favorite]


A drooling drunk with a knife & an erection is a different situation...

Can we please not make this into a 'to circumsize or not-circumsize' thread?
posted by ericb at 3:06 PM on October 22, 2009


What's next? Calling the police because, due to open windows, you can hear a couple having sex...

No ... just move.

Family [in Finstock, Oxfordshire, UK] could be forced out by neighbours' lovemaking.
posted by ericb at 3:11 PM on October 22, 2009


Circumcise? I thought I was supposed to be the cat in a particularly sexualized declawing scenario.
posted by kathrineg at 3:12 PM on October 22, 2009


lazaruslong: "Forrest, what's with the kinda creepy bold italic narrative voice quoting?"

Is it creepy? Pardon me, that's not my intent. As a genuine question, not to be contentious, what do you find creepy about it?

By profession, I'm a graphic designer, so I'm oriented toward attempting to use visual clues to help clarify communication in 2D media. A page full of same-weight type usually looks—to me, anyhow—like a lot of work I don't necessarily want to do. To make some of that easier, I hope to break that "wall of grey" up, using bolds for sources & italics for quotes, when I remember to.

The style also aspires to functionality: anyone can just skim down the page to find where they are responded to by the bold name, & the specific quotes being responded to can easily be differentiated from the response by virtue of their being italicized.

We have these handy B & I buttons down at the bottom of the Comment field, so I figure why not make the most of my five bucks, & play with them?

Or do you mean the adding of a phrase after the name, maybe pulled from the quote, like Forrest Greene, being a graphic designer, is: "...oriented toward attempting to use..."? Just trying to be clever, there, y'know, do something a little different for at least novelty's sake; play with the form a bit. It's that old creative urge. It backs up & hurts like hell if you don't relieve it from time to time.

Trying to be clever & achieving only creepiness is a perennial problem faced by most artists, so if consensus suggests, I'll happily adopt some other format.
posted by Forrest Greene at 3:19 PM on October 22, 2009 [1 favorite]


I'd also like to see this tackled by the Simpsons (back when they were funny)

Chief Wiggums: Arrest that man for public indecency!
Lou: Uh, Chief, he was inside his house, so it can't be public.
Chief Wiggums: Well then, just trump something up. My wife is scared of naked men!
posted by Ghidorah at 3:20 PM on October 22, 2009


I ain't mad atcha, but as a data point when you quoted me it came across as rather passive-aggressive.
posted by kathrineg at 3:21 PM on October 22, 2009


It doesn't have to be in a public place, by the way.
posted by kathrineg at 3:21 PM on October 22, 2009


"...it is extremely common for people to twist it around and say that somehow the victim should have done something differently to prevent it or shouldn't have been offended by it."

You were careful not to say that I, myself, said that, but in case you hope to imply I did, please be aware I said no such thing.


I was mainly trying to point out the kind of climate that your comments are going to be interpreted in if you start discussing something like this with someone who has had these kinds of discussions before (which I know includes katherineg because I've seen her discuss these types of things in previous threads).

But if you want specific cites to what you actually said, in my opinion saying to someone who was flashed by a man when she was 12 that "you could have generated a similar reaction—angrily yelling, maybe chasing—there's a good chance it might've worked the same" is second-guessing a victim and pretty insensitive. Personally if I tell someone that I had a traumatic sexual experience as an adolescent, I don't really want to hear them tell me that if I had handled it better there could have been a better outcome.
posted by burnmp3s at 3:29 PM on October 22, 2009 [1 favorite]




The Virginia statute makes it illegal for any person to intentionally make "an obscene display or exposure of his person, or the private parts thereof, in any public place, or in any place where others are present."

I guess Virginians undress and make love in the pitch black dark. Or is there further language to exempt one's partner from the "any place where others are present"?
posted by five fresh fish at 3:36 PM on October 22, 2009


Also
Forrest, what's with the kinda creepy bold italic narrative voice quoting?
WTF? Get a grip, dude. Bold and italic don't imply creepy anything.
posted by five fresh fish at 3:38 PM on October 22, 2009 [1 favorite]


This is why Castle Doctrine should be expanded to all 50 states. The naked man could have worked it out by shooting her for being on his property, saving tons of paper and policework. And if he missed, then she would realize that life is short and she has better ways to spend it than harassing a nude man making coffee.
posted by mccarty.tim at 3:38 PM on October 22, 2009 [2 favorites]


My suggestion to resolve this situation: President Obama asks the lady, the police officers, and the guy to meet him at Camp David for a skinny dip with himself and Biden to work this out.
posted by mccarty.tim at 3:41 PM on October 22, 2009 [7 favorites]


That's your solution for everything.
posted by mazola at 3:42 PM on October 22, 2009 [5 favorites]


I guess Virginians undress and make love in the pitch black dark.

Pretty rich irony coming from the only state to display nudity on their flag.
posted by peeedro at 3:42 PM on October 22, 2009


Virginia is for Lovers!

Just keep your pants and britches on!
posted by ericb at 3:46 PM on October 22, 2009 [1 favorite]


For "illegally showing his business" as the Fox 5 reporter has it - wonderfully phrased.

I hope this doesn't just drop off the radar, I really want to know what the eventual result is.

I wonder if he had morning glory?
posted by A189Nut at 3:54 PM on October 22, 2009


Finally, the perfect job for regender.
posted by tigrrrlily at 4:14 PM on October 22, 2009 [5 favorites]


My feeling is that anybody who looks inside a neighbor's window can't expect to control whats on the other side. If you don't wanna find out, you don't look.

I bet the kid didn't even notice until the mother gasped and pointed and freaked the f out.
posted by cbecker333 at 4:16 PM on October 22, 2009 [3 favorites]


also, I'm going to need a picture of his junk on the flyer if I'm going to be able accurately say whether or not I saw him naked too.
posted by cbecker333 at 4:18 PM on October 22, 2009


What I find interesting is the sheer number of conflicting stories that seem to be going around (5:30 or 8:30, in his yard or on a pedestrian access between two houses). I have yet to see anything that looks particularly definitive, which is annoying, as it the answers to those two questions would probably resolve a lot of disagreement in this thread.

Speaking of which...
derail
... doesn't feel women need to
... goes to the trouble of expressing her indifference:
...calls bullshit:

WTF? Get a grip, dude. Bold and italic don't imply creepy anything.


I dunno. It's a little off, because it's imputing sense via paraphrasing. If I believe there to be a difference between thinking something and feeling something, for example, or between indifferent and apathetic, someone assuming I meant one in particular for no good reason would be quite annoying. Quote the other person using italics, bold their name at the front if you feel you must, but the paraphrasing is both redundant (if it's important, quote it in their words, if not, save a byte or two) and a little squicky because it's open to contextual abuse, misinterpretation and endless arguments about straw men. It's not flasher creepy, but it doesn't seem a good way to go.

/derail -
posted by Sparx at 4:23 PM on October 22, 2009 [2 favorites]


Yeah, Forrest, I'm happy to tell you what I find creepy about it. Instead of responding to another user's comments by quoting their post verbatim and then responding, you are choosing to inject your opinion of their statement into the quote text itself. For example:

kathrineg goes to the trouble of expressing her indifference: "So what? Really now, I'm supposed to be an expert in flasher psychology? Who cares."

That comment, which really was just kind of a dickish snark disguised as quote text, coupled with the sort of "user so-and so sees: [truncated 'summary' of a quote]" type summary quoting you seem to be fond of, seems creepy to me. You are putting words in someone's mouth in the quote text, before actually even typing out your repsonse. I guess what I'm saying is stop being passive agressive in the quote text at the least, and just say what you want (e.g., "Kartherineg, why are you going to the trouble to express your indifference?").


Trying to be clever & achieving only creepiness is a perennial problem faced by most artists, so if consensus suggests, I'll happily adopt some other format.
posted by Forrest Greene


If you like doing the bold thing with the username before a quote, that's pretty standard. And I'm all for being clever, but you seem tempted to use the quote text as just another platform for reinforcing your argument, instead of just quoting what the user said. I find that offputting and a little passive aggressive. No personal offense intended, maybe creepy is the wrong word, but there it is.

WTF? Get a grip, dude. Bold and italic don't imply creepy anything.
posted by five fresh fish


Yeah, the passive narrator voice was more creepy to me than the actual text formatting. I thought that was clear. Relax. I'm not actually freaked out by text. Spirit of the law, not the letter, and all that.
posted by lazaruslong at 4:28 PM on October 22, 2009


Damn. Pretty much just what Sparx said.
posted by lazaruslong at 4:29 PM on October 22, 2009


jefficator: That is exactly the mindset which disturbs me so much when I find it expressed in a less self-reflective manner here on MeFi. That constant assumption that the man is the creepy creep. It is poison in our culture, and deserves to be eschewed here on the Blue. Thanks for being honest about how your own mind ran when examining those scenarios. I hope others recognize how really (to use a loaded word) bigoted and awful it is that we are programmed to view the world through that lens.
posted by hippybear at 4:41 PM on October 22, 2009 [1 favorite]


What would you think if it's true, that he was naked in an open doorway of his house, made eye contact with the woman and her kid, and then walked to the front of his house, just so he could expose himself to them again?

Do we KNOW DEFINITIVELY that he DID lure them, as opposed to just standing around drinking a glass of water sans pants? Do we KNOW DEFINITIVELY that he walked to the front of his house when he knew he'd been spotted, as opposed to going "eep" and running away?

If we don't know DEFINITIVELY that this is what he did, then why are we analyzing his behavior as if we DID?
posted by EmpressCallipygos at 4:42 PM on October 22, 2009


Has this woman let her child see Virginia's state flag?
posted by vertigo25 at 4:49 PM on October 22, 2009


"...it is extremely common for people to twist it around and say that somehow the victim should have done something differently to prevent it or shouldn't have been offended by it."

You were careful not to say that I, myself, said that, but in case you hope to imply I did, please be aware I said no such thing.

I was mainly trying to point out the kind of climate that your comments are going to be interpreted in if you start discussing something like this with someone who has had these kinds of discussions before (which I know includes katherineg because I've seen her discuss these types of things in previous threads).


The climate here is pretty clear, in fact, but thanks for your effort.

There's a rule of thumb that says if you want to communicate, you ought to try to speak in a language your audience understands. Same idea as considering what is the psychology of someone with whom you hope to deal effectively. However, speaking so your audience can hear you does not mean striving to say what they may want to hear. A radio analogy might be the difference between signal clarity & program content.

The communicator's control over the audience's interpretation of the message only extends so far. Experience suggests there is a point at which efforts to connect pay diminishing returns: they begin to distort the communication away from its meaning. Those efforts to connect can even be deliberately misused by unscrupulous, bad-faith rhetoricians to censor or bully.

At that point, it's probably best just to deliver the communication—which is why one came there in the first place—in whatever way seems best, & let the audience make of it what they will. (In most cases, they'll make of it what they will, anyway, despite all the communicator's efforts. Another fact of life.)

But if you want specific cites to what you actually said, in my opinion saying to someone who was flashed by a man when she was 12 that "you could have generated a similar reaction—angrily yelling, maybe chasing—there's a good chance it might've worked the same" is second-guessing a victim and pretty insensitive.

Thanks for the specific critique. I agree, I could've written that more, um, effectively. If it's not too lame at this point to cite intent, prescribing a hindsight course of action wasn't what I was after. I wanted to speculate, one or two levels removed from the poster's own experience, about how hypothetical flashers could be handled in such a way as to short-circuit their intentions, turn the tables on them, & return the power & initiative to the offended party.

For instance, my use of "you" as in ""you could have generated" certainly did not help achieve that move from a specific story to a hypothetical consideration of tactics. Plenty more examples to be found, I'm sure.

" Personally if I tell someone that I had a traumatic sexual experience as an adolescent, I don't really want to hear them tell me that if I had handled it better there could have been a better outcome."

So to iminurmefi, please accept my apology for any offense given. It was not my intent. "It was not my intent" is an explanation, not an excuse.
posted by Forrest Greene at 4:56 PM on October 22, 2009


Pretty rich irony coming from the only state to display nudity on their flag

I don't think that word means what you think it means.
posted by dash_slot- at 5:14 PM on October 22, 2009


I remember reading Judge Dread magazines enjoying how over the top sentencing of the criminal for even the most minor of crime was, and how it was dished out basically on the spot. Now I know it wasn't a cool idea for a comic book, but a window into an out of control legal system to tightly control the masses opposed to help protect them.

I'm glad I live where this type of thing would be so unbelievable you'd think it was an April fools stunt running very late (or early).

I know I'm guilty of walking around my house nekkid at times, so if someone happened to be on my property got an eye full they deserve the shock they get. Sorry some of us sleep naked, and need to walk to the shower or get a drink of water, without needing to get fully dressed to do so.
posted by Merlin The Happy Pig at 5:22 PM on October 22, 2009


Ah, the beef is with the lousy, loaded paraphrasing. That's a legit beef, fersure. The B/I formatting really has nothing to do with anything, then.
posted by five fresh fish at 5:59 PM on October 22, 2009


What I did say, supported by example—in perhaps too much of a backhanded manner—was that there is a range of quite effective responses available to women rather than choosing to provide the creepy man with precisely the frightened & disgusted reaction he presumably seeks.

The problem here is that you're assuming that everyone has a choice about the way they react. For many people put in this position actually, no, there isn't a range of responses available to them. They're shocked and surprised and react involuntarily, the amygdala sees to that. There's nothing wrong with being upset and scared when someone is actively trying to upset and scare you.

To imply that the involuntary reaction that someone had in a stressful situation was wrong and that should have been able to choose differently, that's where you get condescending. I'm sure this isn't what you actually meant, but that's how that statement reads to at least some of us.
posted by shelleycat at 6:08 PM on October 22, 2009 [1 favorite]


I don't think that word means what you think it means.

you mean "rich", right?
posted by lodurr at 6:11 PM on October 22, 2009


It's Judge DREDD, creep - that's five in the cubes!
posted by Artw at 6:21 PM on October 22, 2009


God I am so tired of living in the land of prudes. Why is America like this, why?!
posted by Secret Life of Gravy at 6:56 PM on October 22, 2009


Why does America hate America?
posted by five fresh fish at 7:13 PM on October 22, 2009 [3 favorites]


... I am so tired of living in the land of prudes. Why is America like this, why?!

Let's not turn this into another anti-christianity thread, eh?

By the way, I was feeling slightly smug about my 'psychological analysis of flashing' upthread, and was waiting at a busstop when I remembered, naturism (nudity) as a reason in itself.
posted by sebastienbailard at 8:23 PM on October 22, 2009


Ah, the beef is with the lousy, loaded paraphrasing. That's a legit beef, fersure. The B/I formatting really has nothing to do with anything, then.
posted by five fresh fish


Yeah, exactly. I just have a weird thing with only writing in compound sentences when describing something, as if more information is always better. Clearly, it isn't, especially when it distracts from the original point!
posted by lazaruslong at 9:30 PM on October 22, 2009


Wow, suburbs. The TMI shit that we ignore in my rowhouse neighborhood would blow these people's minds.
posted by desuetude at 10:45 PM on October 22, 2009


At least the facts in this case are clear -- at 5:30 or 8:30 AM, a woman and her child either trespassing in a private yard or walking on a public pathway saw a naked man who may have been either drunk or sober either standing in a doorway or sitting in his kitchen. Since it was before or after dawn, the man was either completely unaware of the trespassers or clearly saw and deliberately followed them. He might either have been visible or unseeable from a schoolbus stop across the street where there might or might not have been children present. The woman was the wife of a police officer, and the behavior of the police since the event suggests either a conspiracy of harassment or ...

Well, actually, that's all it seems to suggest, whatever the actual facts of the case.
posted by kyrademon at 10:55 PM on October 22, 2009 [7 favorites]


God, some Americans are just going to DIE when they travel in Europe one day. Try to not see genitals!
posted by lottie at 2:05 AM on October 23, 2009


it's a fact that lots of men are creeps.

Many blacks are violent thugs. Also: Jews? I hear some are shifty.

I never said he was guilty!

No, but you are a bigot, and happy to share your puke-inducing views with the rest of us.
posted by rodgerd at 2:05 AM on October 23, 2009


it's a fact that lots of men are creeps.

Many blacks are violent thugs. Also: Jews? I hear some are shifty.


Wow. Tone it down a bit, eh? These analogies seem to be lacking some nuance.
posted by Ouisch at 2:29 AM on October 23, 2009 [1 favorite]


As a thought experiment, let's reverse the genders here. Roughly how many minutes do you think it would take to try and imprison a man who trespassed and peeped in a woman's window while she was naked?

I'd also like to respond to this overwhelmingly favourited comment by saying -- I know this is how you seem to think it would play out, but that's not always how it plays out in real life. In fact, sometimes women are spied on or harassed or peeped on, and the authorities refuse to take it seriously.

I am really disliking how a couple of posters' assertions that it *might* be possible that there's something more going on here than just a nosy-neighbour-lady-spying-on-righteously-naked-dude has been interpreted as some kind of EPIDEMIC OF MISANDRY IN OUR ONCE FINE NATION.

I don't like to think of dudes as inherently creepy, either. So I don't. But that doesn't change the fact that, yeah, some dudes really are creepy, and it is remotely possible this dude could be one of them.

No one's saying that all the guys here are creeps. So cut it out, okay? It's not getting us anywhere.
posted by Ouisch at 2:39 AM on October 23, 2009 [1 favorite]


I am really disliking how a couple of posters' assertions that it *might* be possible that there's something more going on here than just a nosy-neighbour-lady-spying-on-righteously-naked-dude has been interpreted as some kind of EPIDEMIC OF MISANDRY IN OUR ONCE FINE NATION.

Epidemic or not, it looks a bit like misandry because there's not really compelling evidence that he was acting creepy from the accounts we have. Yeah, it's possible he's a creep. It's also possible he donates blood regularly and has never had so much as a parking ticket. Or maybe he's just a dude who doesn't necessarily put on clothes before he does anything else in the morning. These all appear to be equal possibilities for the moment. Why pick on the first one?

Maybe it's a compulsion to enumerate contrary possibilities. People do that. Maybe here more than most places. Maybe it's a disinclination to give men in general the benefit of the doubt because of the actions of some men. People do that too. Even here.
posted by namespan at 3:14 AM on October 23, 2009 [1 favorite]


Sparx: in his yard or on a pedestrian access between two houses

I have lived in a lot of residential neighborhoods and visited even more all over the country, and I have never seen a public access pedestrian right-of-way between houses. Does such a thing exist anywhere? Oh, I've seen "goat paths" where people have cut through an area so often there's a dirt path there, but it's still private property, and they only exist because the property owner hasn't complained or done anything to stop it.
posted by Orb at 6:47 AM on October 23, 2009


fwiw, orb, i've seen a bunch of those. i can think of two right near here that i've used many times. sidewalks between houses. one has walls and high-growing veg, but you could easily see into windows on one side in fall/winter. other happens to pass walls w/o windows, but i doubt that was considered in placement.

all this is conjecture, tho. we need to know what the config is is the case. is the address available? someone could look up the satellite photo....
posted by lodurr at 7:40 AM on October 23, 2009


rodgerd: "it's a fact that lots of men are creeps.

Many blacks are violent thugs. Also: Jews? I hear some are shifty.
"

Dude, depending on the operational definition of "lots", yeah, lots of men are creeps. So if you, like me, define "lots" as more than zero but definitely not most, then yes, lots of men are creepy.

Comparing men to black people and jews is silly.
posted by kathrineg at 8:40 AM on October 23, 2009


I have lived in a lot of residential neighborhoods and visited even more all over the country, and I have never seen a public access pedestrian right-of-way between houses. Does such a thing exist anywhere?

Yes, within a half-block of my house, in both directions. Also a dozen others scattered through the greater neighbourhood.
posted by five fresh fish at 9:19 AM on October 23, 2009


"I have lived in a lot of residential neighborhoods and visited even more all over the country, and I have never seen a public access pedestrian right-of-way between houses. Does such a thing exist anywhere?"

Fairly common around here. This one for example connects Sifton lane with Breamar Drive and runs from the circle to the empty lot (actually a nature preserve) between the two houses with pools. It's used by quite a few kids on Sifton lane and adjoining areas to reach the elementary school. This path is kinda below grade but I think you can see the top pool from the path.

This one is a couple blocks away from the first. The path runs from the zebra crossing at the bottom between the two houses and then continues to the left. The left right section of the path is almost like a foot access alley and it is significantly higher than the houses between it an Laurier drive allowing anyone on the path to look directly into the back yards of the the people on Laurier drive. Again it connects directly to the elementry school so kids are up and down it all the time.

Access to this park is via gravel paths between houses from the left and right though the right one is large enough for the city to get maintance vehicles down. The left hand one runs into the top of the park from between the house with the long grey/white roof and the red car.
posted by Mitheral at 10:10 AM on October 23, 2009


yeh, i think most wouldn't be aware of them if you don't walk or ride a bike.
posted by lodurr at 10:14 AM on October 23, 2009


Learn something new every day. Maybe it's a regional thing (or a suburban thing). I'm a walker and always looking for a shorter path and have never seen one anywhere.
posted by Orb at 10:35 AM on October 23, 2009


total derail, but interesting.
posted by lodurr at 10:43 AM on October 23, 2009


katherineq: Dude, depending on the operational definition of "lots", yeah, lots of men are creeps. So if you, like me, define "lots" as more than zero but definitely not most, then yes, lots of men are creepy.

Comparing men to black people and jews is silly.


The original point might have been snarkier than necessary, but the point being made seems reasonable. We might not have enough information at this point to reasonably infer that Williamson is a creep or not, but do we urge this caution because we don't yet have strong evidence or because he is of the male demographic, and that that male membership is the sole or most significant contributor to his potential creepdom?

That's the way the original post read to me at first, the "But I'm not saying he's guilty" preface read very much like "I'm not a racist.", a caveat which I usually interpret as ineloquent or less nuanced than I would like a line to be. I realize that notswedish is not trying to be intentionally prejudiced, but it implied more consideration to Williamson's "essence", as it were, then it necessarily should have.
posted by man why you even got to do a thing at 11:56 AM on October 23, 2009 [1 favorite]


Why is... how could... EEYYYAAAUUUGGHHH

oh great my brain fell out
posted by tehloki at 11:59 AM on October 23, 2009 [1 favorite]


it is remotely possible this dude could be one of them (a creep)

If that were true, it wouldn't be necessary to go into his yard in the morning to get the evidence.
posted by Jimmy Havok at 12:27 PM on October 23, 2009


If that were true, it wouldn't be necessary to go into his yard in the morning to get the evidence.

Yeah, except we don't know if that's actually what happened yet. Guess we'll find out.

Personally, I'm inclined (for whatever reason) to think this whole thing is ridiculous and that the guy is probably innocent. So don't assume that I'm assuming he is creepy.

But I do have to make space in my brain for the possibility that I ain't heard the whole story yet, and that there was an actual reason for his being arrested that went beyond the lady being the wife of a cop.
posted by Ouisch at 12:48 PM on October 23, 2009


[few comments removed - please don't start with the "oh yeah you're from here and...." stuff, it's toxic to discussions, thanks.]
posted by jessamyn (staff) at 3:17 PM on October 23, 2009


I have never seen a public access pedestrian right-of-way between houses.

A high school friend's family lives down the street from the house where this occurred. When I saw this much-discussed story was from Springfield and the reference to the path between houses I knew that it was going to at least cause confusion and potentially be misinterpreted as "trespassing" by people not from the area or not familiar with this sort of planned-community developments.

Here is a map of the paths in the subdivision I grew up in in Burke, the community next to Springfield. The red lines next to black lines are sidewalks. The red lines by themselves are paths through the woods, which include tot lots (small playgrounds) along them, and often run down to creeks. This is a kid wonderland, at least for kids who are allowed to free-range like we were in the 80s, with a lot of crayfish hunting, vine swinging, and digging for treasure.

Many of the paths go between houses before diving into the woods, and as kids a lot of the families in the houses on either side of such paths were known to us, just because we saw each other, and the adults kept an eye on us, on the way by.
posted by jocelmeow at 6:35 PM on October 23, 2009


Surprised the Washington Post hasn't picked up on this story.

Washington Post: Man disputes indecent-exposure charge.
posted by ericb at 9:35 AM on October 28, 2009


Ugh. Nakedness is not indecent.
posted by agregoli at 12:20 PM on November 1, 2009


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