Group of elderly men and a woman arrested for ‘lewd and sexual activity’ at Connecticut park

Daniel Dobbins, Otto Williams and Charles Ardito.

Amanda Cuda

Connecticut Post, Bridgeport, Conn.

FAIRFIELD — Police arrested six people — including a pair of people in their 80s — last week after getting reports of “lewd and sexual activity” in the Grace Richardson Open Space area at the intersection of Congress Street and Morehouse Highway.

According to police, the department received several complaints of inappropriate behavior during the week of Aug. 12. The Grace Richardson parcel is an 87-acre piece of land that was part of a major acquisition by the town from the H. Smith Richardson family in 1966. The rest became the H. Smith Richardson Golf Course and the Hoyden’s Hill Open Space.

The Fairfield Police Department’s Quality of Life Unit was assigned to investigate. On Aug. 9, officers and detectives from both the Special Services Unit and the Quality of Life Unit conducted surveillance in and around the open space area.

Several violations were observed, and the following arrests were made: Daniel Dobbins, 67, charged with breach of peace and public indecency; Otto D. Williams, 62, charged with breach of peace; Charles L. Ardito, 75, charged with breach of peace; John Linartz, 62, charged with breach of peace and public indecency; Richard Butler, 82, breach of peace; Joyce Butler, 85, breach of peace.

All were released on a promise to appear in court. A court date was not given in the release.

An internet search revealed that the park has been advertised on at least one “City Hookup Guide” site as a meet-up spot along with other Fairfield locations, including the Jefferson Street Commuter Lot and McDonald’s at the Interstate-95 Service Plaza. Police are continuing to monitor the locations and internet advertising.

Capt. Robert Kalamaras said that the department is committed to keeping public spaces appropriate and safe.

At least one of those arrested has been charged before, on similar allegations.

In May 2017, Dobbins was issued a misdemeanor summons of second-degree breach of peace by New Canaan Police after witnesses said they spotted a man walking around Waveny Park naked. Police found Dobbins in his car with his shirt and shorts draped over him and no underwear. Police said Dobbins told them he was naked for medical reasons.

Staff writer Rachel Scharf contributed to this report.


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