Two Men Arrested For 'Lewdness' In Marina Bathroom

Sting operation nets two men suspected of hanging around to solicit sex with other adult males.


Vice detectives conducted a sting operation Tuesday afternoon that led to the arrest of two men suspected of hanging around the restrooms at the San Leandro Marina to solicit sex with other adult males.

Police say there is no reason to believe that the suspects, Steven Mengel, 76, of Oakland, and Michael Woody, 59, of Pleasanton, were interested in children.

In a press release issued Wednesday police said they had been receiving a series of complaints from citizens that men were hanging around the Marina restrooms to meet up and, in some cases, to have sex on the scene.

"We don't want adults engaging in this type of activity in our public restrooms," said police department spokesman Lt. Jeff Tudor.

Based on the complaints an undercover male officer hung around the restrooms Tuesday afternoon to see if he might be solicited.

Tudor said the two men were arrested in separate stings on the suspicion of loitering in or about a public restroom for the purpose of engaging or soliciting lewd or lascivious acts. 

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tony santos June 14, 2012 at 02:43 AM
all commenters must be new to SL; this has been long time problem and has been monitored for many years--oh to get the old SL back without newcomers.
Barry Kane June 14, 2012 at 02:59 AM
David, I do not condone lewd acts at public areas. My comment reflects that view.
Fran June 14, 2012 at 03:07 AM
Was this by the Marina bathrooms or at the park. If it was at the Marina bathrooms (the ones by the boats), then who cares. Those bathrooms are so gross, as is the one by the boat ramp. I'd rather squat outside then use one of those. lol. When I was a teenager in NJ, there was a so-called problem of men hooking up at the rest areas on the parkway. What did the fair state of NJ do? They closed all the rest areas! For everybody.
Carol Parker June 14, 2012 at 03:16 AM
Families have a right to use public restrooms in a public park paid with taxpayer dollars without being subjected to people having sex of any type in them. People living in residential neighborhoods have a right to not live in a zone where prostitutes are openly plying their trade. If that makes me "overly concerned with what people are doing" in some people's eyes, then so be it. I agree with the poster who said people are asked to report suspicious activity to the police and that is a good thing. Apparently in this case, citizens did so. The police have an obligation to respond and investigate citizen complaints and did so in this case.
Victor Li June 14, 2012 at 03:21 AM
Actually, Mr. Santos, I moved to San Leandro from Oakland since the mid 1990s (I was still in early childhood at that time). I was new to the San Leandro Patch since last Thursday. And I grew up throughout your term as the Mayor of San Leandro.
Victor Li June 14, 2012 at 03:33 AM
One more thing. I still live in San Leandro today, under the term of Mayor Cassidy.
Victor Li June 14, 2012 at 03:40 AM
Nice to talk to you, Mr. Santos.
Barry Kane June 14, 2012 at 03:40 AM
I moved here in 1993. Not all that new.
Barry Kane June 14, 2012 at 03:41 AM
Agree Carol, well said!
Francis Sena June 14, 2012 at 04:01 AM
Agreed Carol, I second your comment.
Paul Vargas June 14, 2012 at 05:26 AM
I figured you'd be the first to open your big mouth in defense of these guys Marga.
Tim June 14, 2012 at 06:30 AM
Bunch of perverts in San Leandro... plus one staunch defender of perverts rights to lurk in and around public restrooms to solicit sex. Marga, I guess you can add that to your resume for your next political bid. So, you've locked up the LGBT vote, so now on to the "equal rights for perverts" campaign?
Lisa June 14, 2012 at 07:05 AM
Thank you Carol! Well said!
Marga Lacabe June 14, 2012 at 07:31 AM
Do you really feel I'm going after your vote? :-) But if you thought about it, you'd realize it'd behoove you to support someone with my views: because I do believe in "equal rights" with no "for's" after them. There is no one who does /not/ deserve equal rights - even jerks and trolls.
Marga Lacabe June 14, 2012 at 07:36 AM
Carol, the problem with your argument is that your right not to be offended and annoyed by other's conduct is no greater than the right of other's to not be offended and annoyed by your conduct. You don't want people to have sex in public parks, I don't want people to stalk others and pry into their private business. Why do you believe your rights should be greater than mine?
Marga Lacabe June 14, 2012 at 11:23 AM
Tom, let me ask you. Does Patch define itself as a news organization or a tabloid? Are you a journalist or an SEO specialist? If it's the former, it's a no brainer. Journalism is governed by unofficial codes of ethics and you should ask yourself if what you say or show in a story conforms to those stands. This whole story, pictures included, clearly violates the following journalistic tenets from the Society of Professional Journalists code of ethics: Journalists should: — Diligently seek out subjects of news stories to give them the opportunity to respond to allegations of wrongdoing. — Be judicious about naming criminal suspects before the formal filing of charges. — Balance a criminal suspect’s fair trial rights with the public’s right to be informed. Now, I know that the Patch does not enable you to actually write stories in an ethical manner because of the time pressures you and other editors are under. But then let's just be open and honest, let's not pretend this is a news site, let's call it a "digital tabloid" and be done with this. Personally, though, I am too uncomfortable with these stories and I think it's time for me to bow out. I've made my point that I think that harassing people whom we consider unsavory is in itself wrong, and I'm not going to contribute to drawing more eyeballs to these stories.
Tom Abate (Editor) June 14, 2012 at 05:31 PM
Thanks for the lively discussion. Most of it was about the arrest and so sideways to my question about posting the picture. But I did get Marga's point loud and clear, and assure you all that I do not treat lightly decisions on when to name names or publish pictures, and the balance between the informational and sensational.
Charles Kane June 14, 2012 at 06:00 PM
The restroom misuse problem being discussed is not exclusive to this City, State, nor for that matter the entire U.S. It has existed from the time public facilities were first made available. Soliciting sex, ( what ever kind) in public facilities is is a violation of the law and for good rerason. The Police are doing a good job.
Bill Gannon June 14, 2012 at 07:36 PM
Barry - Although I often disagree with David's views. He is right on the mark here. You say San Leandro is very unwelcoming. Why is this so? Because there are not rainbow flags everywhere? I know two same sex couples, who reside in San Leandro and they like it just fine, They have not voiced any complaints about feeling unwelcome or discriminated against. There are or were several gay bars in Hayward, I personally do not know if they are still there. When my friends go clubbing they go to the City. As far as feeling safe, San Leandro is about the safest place you are going to find in the East Bay, outside of Dublin, even Castro Valley is pretty sketchy at times. Can you provide reasons why you do not feel welcome in San Leandro? Just saying some place is not welcoming with no support does not really state the case.
Bill Gannon June 14, 2012 at 07:40 PM
Wrong Marga, I've called for a man and a woman having sex under a blanket in the park.
David June 14, 2012 at 07:43 PM
Not that it's particularly relevant to the thread, but what do you disagree with me about, Bill? Not aware we ever "argued" on the threads.
Bill Gannon June 14, 2012 at 07:47 PM
No Marga, its called keeping an eye on the neighborhood. I guess you don't mind hookers hanging out in your neck of the woods, but some of us do. Public toilets are not areas that you "hang out". They are there for a specific purpose. Anyone loitering near a toilet, sorry to break this news to you, is up to something. If they are having a bout of gastro-intestinal distress, then they need to go home and be ill there. It is kinda like having a man by himself hanging around the playground, just not cool. Any man who is at the playground without a kid in tow, has got to go.
Bill Gannon June 14, 2012 at 08:05 PM
Marga needs to take her medication. Wow, dearie, your thoughts are scrambled indeed. The only people Carol would be offending by reporting people doing things they should not be doing are the criminals. But I forget, you are one of those apologist flakes who believe the criminals have a right to be doing their criminality, right? I kinda doubt that Carol is running all over the parks "stalking" people. When you are out in public, guess what - you have no right to privacy. Carol is not asserting in any way that she has greater rights than you, unless you enjoy having sex in public toilets. If that is the case you're just gross.
Bill Gannon June 14, 2012 at 08:07 PM
You are correct, we have not argued. I have read quite a few of your posts that I disagree with. That's all.
Robert Marrujo June 14, 2012 at 09:36 PM
Don't think anyone thought otherwise. One person with a personal agenda doesn't reflect the views of the people on this site or of this city.
Tom Abate (Editor) June 15, 2012 at 12:15 AM
I just received this via email and post it on behalf of the sender: "My husband's father commited suicide because of such an arrest and publication. People are innocent until proven guilty. Gonna shut down all of the bars and restaurants full of drunk hetros making passes at each other? How about the workplaces where women put up with sexual harassment on a daily basis. You were wrong to publish their photos. The proof was in the anti-gay diatribes that followed. Wonder how much 'soliciation' take place at the high school cafeteria!"
David June 15, 2012 at 01:02 AM
That's kind of the point though. Make your solicitations at a bar, or club, not a restroom.
Brash Brazen June 19, 2012 at 06:27 AM
Gay,lonely & pathetic ? Yes ! But unless they propositioned the undercover officer it doesn't appear that a crime was committed. I didn't realize trying to get laid is a crime or is it only if you're gay & in San Leandro. Maybe they were waiting for former Idaho Senator Larry Craig (R). How wide were their stances ? Better luck cruising a hardware store or the mall next time. One must always be on the lookout for bible based bigotry as it takes many shapes. They expect everyone to adhere to their moral standards & disparage anyone who doesn't look like them or has the temerity to disagree. They smugly believe that they're better people than others whose lifestyles disturb them. They hate dirty movies,dirty magazines & dirty jokes ! Do you know why ? Because they have dirty minds !! No one wants people gay or otherwise performing sex acts in public places or public view. On the otherhand I've found that an excellent place to meet women in bars is to wait in the ladies room !
Bill Gannon June 26, 2012 at 05:53 PM
Oh really? Then please explain how that quote reveals "my fear based decision making that pervades my consciousness." I believe Marga is a nut. She posts all sorts of crap about things of which she knows nothing. I respond in kind to her. You think I'm homophobic, that's great. I'll share that with my gay friends. They'll get a good laugh out of it. People are able to post all sorts of drivel on here, doesn't make it so. Just as you posting your crap. I would not use it to line a birdcage. So you go on being all butt hurt and maybe you and Marga can get together. Just because you are trying to support some other female does not make you a crusader.
Tiare Pena June 26, 2012 at 06:37 PM
Wow...I am disturbed that these comments take on such vindictive and disparaging terms. I may or may not agree with a certain point of view, but attacking someone personally has no place on a "news blog", or any other public venue. It seems to be the same commenters. So maybe it is not the norm, I sure hope not!!


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