UPDATE: Gorilla at Bike Week sparks strong reaction

Sandusky police chief, the Bike Week organizer, the NAACP and others speak out about man who attended festivities Thursday dressed in gorilla costume with offensive sign and appendage
Courtney Astolfi
Jun 6, 2014

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. 

Comments

Wjones44

But it would be ok if it was about George Bush.

meowmix

The guy is obviously an idiotic a-hole.
Also, if it was about George Bush he would have been wearing an Alfred E. Neuman costume.

Sal Dali

and he would have had someone throwing shoes at him...lol. My favorite Bush Jr. clip of all time! Whoever it was is an idiot and should have kept his or her racist a$$ away from the festivities. When people like this show up and do this crap, it reflects negatively on every biker attending and most of those attending probably know nothing about this. Now the NAACP is involved and it could end up negatively for the thousands of others who were not a part of his/her ignorance. What a jerk.

Truth2u

And your calling others idiotic...

Sal Dali

A little sensitive aren't you? Get over yourself already. Sounds like you might have a guerrilla suit in your closet.

DGMutley

meowmix,

lololol

JT Adams St

Yes, it would be OK if it was about Bush because it wouldn't be blatantly racist.

Nor'easter

The 1st amendment of the Constitution guarantees free speech, it does not say "if it doesn't offend you". Freedom is never free, but to deny free speech, no matter how offensive, is a right that we must defend. While I find his protest offensive, as an American, I will defend his right to speak.

ContraryAnn

PUBLIC PORNOGRAPHY presented to children or in their presence is NOT protected by the FIRST AMENDMENT.

The DILDO is grounds for arrest.... if we had a decent police department.
And the SR should have called the cops instead of becoming complicit in the offense. Let's arrest Matt Westerhold for promoting pornography to children.

Babo

Looks like they may have arrested the guy on public intoxication and harassment by an inmate. https://jail.eriecounty.oh.gov:8...

abigbear

sure it would be ok if it was Bush or ANY OTHER President
but just do not do ANYTHING, ANYTHING to this POS king

sugar

I guess if we hung Bush in effigy it would be OK. Screw you NAACP, Obama is disrespected and most people HATE him. I know I do.

meowmix

Change your name to vinegar. You are one hateful person.

From the Grave

I think it was Clarence Beeks

Kelly

LOL!

mikeylikesit

clayton bigsby?

UNregisturd's picture
UNregisturd

Oh brother! Does anyone ever THINK about what they say or do anymore? No, Wjones44, it would not be ok if someone portrayed GW's daddy as a black gorilla because everyone knows HIS daddy was a white gorilla! jeeeez REALLY? Idiots! Yes this idiot is entitled to his opinion of O, but this idiot should surely have known that this display would incite discord, & even possibly violence. Take a cue from Sal Dali & try to imagine how this could have a negative impact on future Bike Week festivities; festivities that, btw, generates much needed revenue for the city, county & state. I could not agree w/Oglesby more, & I don't always! But this was definitely a pitiful waste of free speech! smdh

sugar

Why would one persons expression of displeasure with the King end bike week? This PC stuff has got to stop. Obviously enough people saw it as non threatening. Quit being an overvreatve alarmist .

ContraryAnn

y'all wanted Ricke Vitte fired and prosecuted for showing pornography to a child.

This asphole - and the complicit SR - showed/reported/supported dissemination of pornography to possibly hundreds of children.

Hypocrisy, thy name is Sandusky.

ContraryAnn

It is inappropriate - and actionable - because of the Dildo. Obscenity in the presence of children is NOT protected by the First Amendment (just as the Supreme Court).

But of course, y'all got your panties in a twist over the gorilla suit.

The cops should have made the arrest immediately on OBSCENITY charges.

sugar

Well they didn't now did they ? Your hystrionics are a bit funny.

bondgirlM

Alfred's ears however belong to Barry

Unassumer

some people just can't pull off funny and are just offensive.

The Answer Person

Hopefully this will be the last year for this mess anyway.

Laughingatwttb

Yeah because Sandusky doesn't need all that revenue they bring to that town right?

The Answer Person

Yep.

ContraryAnn

Sandusky NEEDS all the money Bike Week doesn't bring anyway.

Now Sandusky is branded as racist and a haven for pornography and obscenity and offenses to children (THE DILDO, you jackanapes). Wondering why the Great Protector SR didn't pick up on the obscenity?

sugar

If Sandusky is branded anything it's branded as a dying city full of Dem supporting union goons.

sugar

What an idiot you are!

ContraryAnn

If Ricky Vitte had been in the suit showing off the DILDO, the SR would have been up in arms.

How is wearing a DILDO any less "providing pornography to children" than watching porn with a 12-year-old.

Or are there no children at Bike Week?

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