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Four men who the Collier County Sheriff’s Office says were cruising for sex in an East Naples park got a ride to jail instead on Thursday after reports say they propositioned a deputy during an undercover operation.
However, when reached on the phone Friday, one of the men said it was he who was propositioned by the deputy in Sugden Regional Park off U.S. 41 East.
“I asked him before if he was an undercover cop, and he lied to me,” said James Joseph Dotalo, 41. “He was the one that tried to pick me up.”
Dotalo, of the 400 block of Valleystream Drive, East Naples; Robert George McCrabb, 68, of Ontario; John R. Sheehan, 68, of the 2800 block of Palm Street, East Naples; and James Keegan, 71, of the 3600 block of Periwinkle Way, East Naples, were each charged with indecent exposure, which is a misdemeanor.
“In these situations, just like prostitution, we are the ones that are propositioned,” said Cmdr. Bill McDonald of the Sheriff’s Office’s patrol division.
McCrabb, Sheehan and Keegan each listed their wives as their next of kin on an arrest report.
“I know what it was, and it reads worse than what it is,” said Marie Keegan, who is James Keegan’s wife. She declined further comment.
Keegan was in his car with his pants around his ankles when he met the undercover deputy early Thursday evening, reports said.
McCrabb propositioned the deputy, and walked with him along a nature trail before dropping his pants, reports said.
Wendy McCrabb said her husband would “never do that.” She said the deputy approached her husband, who was taking a walk in the park, and started talking to him about sex.
She said he has a prostate condition that makes him have to urinate frequently.
“All my husband did, and I can tell you, he took a whiz in the park,” Wendy McCrabb said.
Sheehan was seated in a red Lincoln Town Car on Thursday morning when he motioned for the male undercover deputy to approach his vehicle, and then instructed the deputy to follow him to a drug store parking lot across the street, reports said. Sheehan motioned for the deputy to get into his car, asked the deputy to perform a sex act on him, and then exposed himself, reports said.
Reports say Dotalo engaged in a sexual conversation with the undercover deputy, and then had the deputy follow him into a stairwell where he, too, exposed himself.
Dotalo said he was minding his own business when the undercover deputy approached him.
“He said he was looking for someone who met him online,” Dotalo said. “He was wanting to have sex, the officer.”
There were people in the park and at the local businesses where the men propositioned the officers, according to police reports.
McDonald said, for some reason, parks are attractive places for men to go looking for sexual encounters. He said Sugden Park isn’t a particular problem, although reports indicate that the Sheriff’s Office has received “numerous complaints” about sexual activity in the parking lot.
“Parks and public locations are not the area for sexual activity,” McDonald said. “It should be done privately and in your own home.”
Connect with Ryan Mills at www.naplesnews.com/staff/ryan-mills/