The Faulkner County Sheriff's Office came away empty-handed from another "sting" operation earlier this week targeting public sexual indecency at Toad Suck Park.
The first "sting" at the park was held in October, with five men arrested. Seven men were arrested in another "sting" earlier this month.
The operation this week was identical to the others. FCSO personnel in plain clothes lounge about the park waiting for someone to approach them and offer sexual favors, usually to be performed in one of the park's public bathrooms or the nearby wooded area and often with children playing in the background.
The offer is answered with the reading of Miranda rights and arrest for harassment, loitering, public sexual indecency or all of the above.
But this time, the operation turned out to be little more than a walk in the park for FCSO's participants.
Maj. Andy Shock of FCSO said the undercover personnel notices a few men who seemed suspicious, "but they were acting real nervous" and weren't approaching undercover personnel or other men in the park.
"I am very enthused about it," sheriff Karl Byrd said, "because it tells you that we are making a difference, that we are making people nervous about that conduct. Those places are designed for family use, and we're going to continue to do everything we can to make these parks suitable for that exact purpose."
Byrd said FCSO will continue to hold periodic "stings" at the park, and hopefully the result will be the same.
"That's the way we like it," he said. "We would much rather stop the conduct than make a bunch of arrests. Our objective is to clean the parks up, and this is an indication that we're doing that."
(Staff writer Joe Lamb can be reached at 505-1238 or by E-mail at firstname.lastname@example.org. Send us your news at www.thecabin.net/submit.)