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

richrs

Give it a break already. Charges wouldn't stick. You're just mad because he took your toy.

underthebridge

Because Vitte is accused of masturbating while he was showing that kid the porn.

There you go again

I thought it was kinda funny.

JMOP

Obama would be deeply offended by the fake gold necklace.

biggiesmalls

actually it was George Bush in the costume

The Bizness

There is a difference between making a political statement and being racist....this is just racist.

The Hero Zone's picture
The Hero Zone

(sarcasm) Aren't even the most albino of us all actually descended from apes?

(not sarcasm) I agree, Biz, there are much better ways to try to make a political statement. Such is the give and take we have in a free speech society. In the words of Blade from his self-titled movie, "Some mother[tr]uckers are always trying to ice-skate uphill."

The Bizness

I like that quote!

The Big Dog's back

hz, things like this, which are common, make it hard for anyone to take the Repubs seriously.

sugar

How do you know it's a Republican? I despise odumbo and I am not a republican. You ignorant liberals politicize everything.

The Hero Zone's picture
The Hero Zone

Maybe this guy is a Republican. Maybe he's just a Troll. Some men just want to watch the world burn or have a grating sense of humor. He hardly speaks for the party but is probably about as effective at getting his message out as them, heh.

Truth2u

Who can prove it wasn't another minority, or a woman? Then would it be racist?

The Bizness

Huh? Of course it would.

WhatTheHeck

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

candleburner

I completely agree!!! I'm just surprised by what Oglesby had to say about Obama.

thinkagain

OK, I get how that could be offensive to passersby. But then to put a picture on the website or maybe the paper to offend even more people? Whatever…

sandusky2012

maybe he should be in a police uniform pretending to steal girl scout cookies like in 1992.....YUMMY

JohnDorian12

Dude, that's pretty old, you can't do better than that?

the unsilent majority's picture
the unsilent ma...

Love it!

sugar

^^^^^^^ yes^^^^^^

Katelih-Trailer...

What an idiot. But really..what can he be charged with?

Babo

Yes, it's offensive but the gorilla costume and sign is protected speech. On the other hand the dildo...that's a problem and may be the basis for legal sanctions under community obscenity standards.

Katelih-Trailer...

Kinda like the Nuts hanging off the backs of trucks?

Florence Nightingale

God, I hate those things!

wordemup

https://www.facebook.com/robbie2...

I almost guarantee that's your gorilla. Robert Nelson, aka "Bobblehead"

Pterocarya frax...

What username does he post under on this site?

SeargentOfArms

go to FB, Too Pheatherz. scroll thru the pics

SeargentOfArms

Good call!! Look at "Too Pheatherz" FB and scroll thru the pics and there is the dumb idiot in the suit, smoking! What a lame, sick individual

Little Giant

Pretty sure it was Robert. I saw him carrying some luggage near Market and Warren. He wore an ape costume when he worked at Liberty Tax Service. As a registered sex offender..... I believe the dildo public display would be a violation of his probation.

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