Authorities working hard to address indecency issues at Caspersen

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VENICE, Fla. - Local law enforcement agencies say they're working hard to clean up the Caspersen Beach area, which for years has gained a reputation as a hub for indecent activity.

Beachgoer Terry Hoops says she's seen so many uncomfortable things along the stretch she no longer walks down it. "I kind of felt uncomfortable down on the end of the beach. I just felt there was some inappropriate behavior going on."

Apparently a lot of it. Seven local men were arrested recently during just a three day sting. In each incident, the men discussed having sex and exposing themselves to undercover deputies, mostly along the park's secluded trails.  52 people have now been arrested for indecent activity at Caspersen since 2007.

Thursday Sarasota County mounted patrols walked the area. "Committed to obviously solving the citizen complaints and addressing them. As long as we receive reports of illegal activity we are going to constantly do either undercover operations or high profile patrols," says Sgt. Chris Laster.

With many of the acts happening in the nearby woods and trails of the undeveloped area, the horses allow a high angle along with a quiet approach.  "ATV's are high profile, but we are able to get back into the trails and covert areas by just walking and people don't really hear you coming."

Englewood resident Ken Britton bikes to the park. He hopes the exposure of those exposing themselves will clean up the area many families come to enjoy. "I hope word gets out that this is unacceptable and take whatever they are doing and go elsewhere."

These law enforcement efforts can hopefully get the area, often called the 'Shark's Tooth Capital of the World', known again for only that, says Hoops.  "We have to fight back. We should have all the freedom to use the beach. I think people should feel comfortable in their environment."

Law enforcement officials say they will continue to patrol the area in a number of ways.