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Mandeville man confronts public masturbation head-on

String of arrests gave Mandeville man an idea. (FOX 8 Photo) String of arrests gave Mandeville man an idea. (FOX 8 Photo)

A string of men caught red-handed, booked with public masturbation on the lakefront, has one homeowner ready to take the so-called perverts head on.

“I thought it was a little hilarious, but the more I thought about it, I said, ‘are you kidding me? butt-ass naked on the lakefront in Mandeville wanking?’ I mean you know, my wife, my nieces, there's little kids all around here now,” said Rick Meyer, who lives just a block away from the lakefront.

Meyer decided to take matters into his own hands, shelling out $25 to create a sign he’s planted in his front yard. It reads: NO WANKING IN MANDEVILLE. Meyer said people like the sign so much, someone has already plucked one from his yard. He thinks it may have been a teenager, who wanted to post it up in their room.

“I mean, when I was growing up it was Farrah Fawcett on the wall, not No Wanking!” Meyer joked.

“Now people are taking pictures of it, they're stopping, they're getting in front of it like when you go to Mississippi and take pictures in front of the sign," Meyer said. "Now they're coming by the wanking sign.”

The issue started mid-summer when police say a few men decided the edge of the water would be the perfect place for pleasure.

“From the end of June to about mid-July we had three isolated incidents, but it seemed like they were back-to-back every week we were getting one,” said Lt. Gerald Sticker with the Mandeville Police Department.

Those incidents caused growing concern for mothers who bring their kids to the public space.

“Ewww! Why would you do that in public? Kids come out here!” Jessie Laferriere exclaimed.

But some people aren’t pleased with the signs and think the issue of perverts on the lakefront should be strictly hands-off.

“It brings too much attention, which will bring more people who do things they shouldn't be doing. I think it should be quietly and harshly dealt with,” said north shore resident Robert Stewart.

“You out here doing things that you ain't supposed to be doing - yeah put up the signs, get the police involved," Laferriere said. "That's protecting the community. That ain't letting people walk around with their stuff out. That's not good, that’s nasty.”

Police say they've increased patrols on the lakefront, but Meyer isn't removing the signs just yet.

“When it happens, correct it, make the penalty stiff enough to where it'll be a deterrent, but in the meantime - No Wanking!!” Meyer said.

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