A Springfield man is accused of leading park rangers and deputies on a low-speed pursuit through town after he was allegedly caught in the middle of a sex act in a bathroom at Buck Creek State Park.
Keith Dover, 33, was arrested Monday afternoon by Ohio Department of Natural Resources rangers and Clark County Sheriff’s Office deputies.
Dover now faces felony charges of fleeing and eluding a peace officer and obstructing official business, and misdemeanor charges of public indecency and failure to disclose personal information.
ODNR officers said Dover resisted them at the scene and sped off in his SUV, leading them and deputies on a 15-minute chase out of the park. He continued down Bird Road, according to court documents, and west on U.S. 40 before he stopped and was taken into custody in an alley behind the Arby’s on East Main Street near North Burnett Road.
Dover pleaded not guilty Tuesday morning. He is no longer booked in the Clark County Jail, according to jail records.
Sex offenses at secluded picnic areas and restrooms in the park is common, Clark County Sheriff Gene Kelly said, but law enforcement agencies work together to combat the crimes.
“All of us together are going to ensure that visits to our parks are safe,” he said.
Several people at the park eating on their lunch breaks or enjoying the fall foliage Tuesday said it was disturbing to know that kind of activity was happening just around the corner.
Undercover officers from the Clark County Sheriff’s Office conduct stings at the park when complaints about sexual activity at the restrooms pile up, Kelly said.
So far this year deputies held two stings, resulting in several arrests. The latest sting on Oct. 7 led to the arrest of three men on charges of public indecency.
“They don’t want to get caught and thus anytime you have this type of a confrontation it can turn violent,” he said.
Rangers and deputies will continue to patrol the park, but Kelly said if anyone sees suspicious behavior they should report it immediately.
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