Wilderness Park: Will it Ever Be Safe?

By: Risa Avila
By: Risa Avila

Diana Luke has lived near Wilderness Park for five years. She says the activity there appeared suspicious to her.

“All the time…you’d at least see one car there every day,” says Luke.

She and other neighbors say they’ve made several calls to police asking them to check into it.

Lincoln Police Chief, Tom Casady says the number of people engaging in sex acts in city parks is something he wants to change. “We don’t want to have a situation where someone rounds the bend and finds two people naked engaging in sex.”

Lincoln Police arrested 17 men in Wilderness Park last week. Eleven of those were for third-degree sexual assault of male undercover officers.

Luke says she’s glad she and her nieces and nephews can finally enjoy the park again, “Oh yes, it’s a very, very big relief. Now we don’t have to worry about anything. We can go into the park freely and be safe and don’t have to worry about us seeing something that shouldn’t be seen.”

Luke says the sting operation helps the park restore its reputation, but Chief Casady says there are still problems at Wilderness Park.

“You could go pull into that lot this afternoon and see what we are talking about. You will see out of county cars parked in the lot, a single person sitting in the car. Someone walks off onto the trail and another person gets out and follows him. Real, real common behavior,” says Chief Casady.

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