Two Brazil men were arrested last week at Fairbanks Park in Terre Haute in a sex-crime sweep by the Vigo County Drug Task Force. A total of ten men were arrested over a four day sweep.
The men were soliciting, paying for prostitutes or exposing themselves. Capt. Tony Bauer, head of the Task Force said the "chief's office and the mayor's office had received complaints that indecent activities were taking place at Fairbanks Park and they wanted us to check and see what was going on," Bauer said.
An eight-man task force was sent to the park. When one undercover policeman was approached to perform sex acts the arrests began.
The Brazil men and their charges were:
- Steven L. Burns, 43, public indecency.
- Michael J. Redenbarger, 49, public indecency and possession of marijuana.
According to Bauer, Redenbarger was arrested just four days prior to this arrest in Lieber State Park in Putnam County for public nudity, indecent exposure and possession of methamphetamine.
Most of the defendants were charged with Class A Misdemeanors and were seen in the Terre Haute City Court the next day. Many received community service and fines.
Burns asked for a new court date and has retained the services of an attorney. His court date is set for Sept. 21.
Redenberger was still in the Vigo County jail as of Monday afternoon. He is scheduled to go back to court on Aug. 18, possibly for bond reduction. A trial date has not yet been set.
Apparently, this is not the first time inappropriate activities have taken place in Fairbanks Park. According to a report by News Channel 2 (WTWO) Weekend Anchor Jon Swaner, George Sabiston, a 57-year-old white male was found dead under the River Bridge at U.S. 40 Oct. 8, 2002. There were no signs of foul play or strangulation.
The Terre Haute resident was in the process of moving to Worthington and his body was found by a man walking his dog. The coroner ruled he died of a heart attack but the unofficial word was that the man had been involved in the kind of activity that's been going on recently at Fairbanks Park.
Capt. Bauer alluded that there had been previous indecent activity at the park but hopes there won't be any more.
"We hope this takes care of it," Bauer said. "The Terre Haute Police Department and the Vigo County Task Force will be checking Fairbanks frequently."