(Memphis, TN) It`s a place to be with nature, but some say that you can find more than just trees in Overton Park.
“I have heard a lot of stories,” said Mary Ferris, a Midtown resident.
Just this week, police arrested a man here for exposing himself to a 17 year old girl. Sixty-nine year old James Faulk is accused of masterbating in public.
It may be shocking to some…
“I hate it. I hate it,” said Mary Ferris, a Midtown resident. “I think it’s terrible.”
But for others, not surprising.
“It does not surprise me,” said a park-goer who didn’t want to be identified. She says she walks her dog at the park most mornings.
”And I see used condoms and rolled-up toilet paper and tissues along the path,” she said.
It’s something we saw for ourselves just a few yards into the woods.
“I have been here when police are parked here and men are walking in and out of the woods,” she said. “It’s very blatant and very obvious what is going on.”
But prior to this recent arrest, police report there have not been any arrests since January.
It’s the same time the Overton Park Conservancy took over management of the public space from the City.
“It’s just a cleaner, neater park I think, said George Cates, the acting executive director of the conservancy.
Cates calls the recent incident ‘unpleasant but random’, something that could happen anywhere.
He says the conservancy has been working with police and bringing more activities to the park to bring people in and push crime out.
“They say activity will make it an even safer park,” he said. “It’s a safe park now but it will be even safer.”