LEWES — Department of Natural Resources and Environment Control police have arrested 12 men this month and charged them with lewdness-related offenses in the Wolfe Neck parking area in Lewes.
Police said the men were arrested on an assortment of charges, ranging from offensive touching, criminal solicitation, lewdness and indecent exposure, and loitering to engage in or solicit sex.
“This operation is a response to a serious and longstanding problem with lewd and indecent public behavior at Wolfe Neck,” said State Parks Chief of Enforcement Wayne Kline.
“Such behavior will not be tolerated in a public area within a Delaware State Park. Every arrest that we’ve made and may make as this enforcement operation continues will reiterate that we are committed to eliminating this problem in a public area.”
Nine of the men were from Delaware; two from New York and another from Pennsylvania. Their ages ranged from 49 to 82 years old.
The department had received complaints from the public about the Wolfe Neck area, said DNREC spokeman Michael Globetti.
The site is near an intersection with the Junction & Breakwater Trail.
The department addressed the problem with incremental enforcement tactics, including posting widespread “No Loitering” signs and stepping up police patrols.
The continuing campaign against public lewdness has involved both uniformed and plainclothes officers, Mr. Globetti said, and will continue to do so.
All the men arrested were released on a criminal summons with pending court appearances at Justice of the Peace Court 2 or the Court of Common Pleas.
They face punishment ranging from a year in jail and fines up to $2,300 for Class A misdemeanor; of up to six months in jail and fine of $1,150 for Class B misdemeanor; up to 30 days in jail and a $575 fine for unclassified misdemeanor, and up to one-year probation and a $345 fine for a violation.