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UPDATE: Gorilla at Bike Week sparks strong reaction

Courtney Astolfi • Jun 7, 2014 at 6:10 AM

UPDATE 5:30 p.m. — Sandusky attorney Geoffrey Oglesby called the protest distasteful and ignorant, but protected free speech.

"I don't see it as racist necessarily; he just doesn't like the president," Oglesby said. "It's free speech against a lame-duck president. It's wasted free speech speech. It's kind of pitiful."

UPDATE 5 p.m. — The president of the Sandusky NAACP said he's received more calls and inquiries about the protester than any other recent issue, and he was disappointed in the man's protest.

"In 2014, this is happening now? You would think this would be gone. It goes beyond making fun of Obama. He's making fun of his race suggesting suggesting the president is the son of an animal," Jim Jackson said. 

"What that individual is doing is dangerous."

UPDATE from 3:40 p.m. — Sandusky police Chief John Orzech said there is a plan of action should the man return in the costume.

Sandusky officials conferred this afternoon to determine what, if any action could be taken, Sandusky police Chief John Orzech said just now in an interview with the Register. 

"We've had multiple complaints this afternoon. We've been discussing it with the law department and researching it all afternoon and we have a plan in place if the individual shows. I can't share our operational plan, but the issue will be addressed it if it happens again," Orzech said. 

Orzech said officials have to tread lightly in this situation, as they cannot infringe on the individual's constitutional right to free speech. However, that is not to say it will not be taken care of swiftly if the man returns to the festivities on Friday or Saturday.

"If he was just in a gorilla suit and doing it, we would be limited in what we could do, but if he's there with an enhancement, so to speak, there's some other issues we can address," Orzech said. 

"We dont want any violence or any of our local youth to react to someone like that. We're trying to get that (taken care of) so there isn't any violence," Orzech said. 

Orzech spoke with Sandusky NAACP President Jim Jackson and Sandusky law director Don Icsman today regarding the issue. 

Ohio Bike Week organizer Steve Ernst stressed this person was not hired or affiliated with Ohio Bike Week and his team in anyway.

He can certainly understand why people would be upset about the person and the message, however.

"But you can't stop people from being idiots," Ernst said.

"We want to handle this responsibly but it is a free speech issue," Ernst said.

If the matter were to become a safety issue event organizers may consider a designated free speech zone as is done at other events, he said.

Original Post: The man, who has not been identified, was wearing a gorilla suit, a gold necklace and a baseball cap. 

The costume also had an exposed dildo protruding from the genital area.

He also was carrying a sign that stated: "Obama's real daddy."

The Register is pursuing more information about the man, his demonstration and whether he will be allowed to return today.

Check back here for updates as they become available. 

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