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

MattDamon

I find it a bit ridiculous that displaying a dildo violates the law in a country where we allow people to make a public display attempting to dehumanize a racial group.

"I don't want our kids to be exposed to sex but a guy dressed in an ape suit pretending to be a black person is perfectly fine"

Pterocarya frax...

Racists in ape suits are people my friend...but not racists with dildos, at least according to Mitt Romney.

holysee

HE rang the bell.
You turned and looked.
He wins by default.
Attention gained!
Personally I think it may have been Elsebeth in that costume........

Florence Nightingale

Exactly. Ignore him. Or her?

Julian

He probably was playing video games, eating a bowl of lucky charms this morning and decided "hey, I think I'll put Monkey suit on and piss some people off today."

JMOP

Or...it was Friday and he decided not to go into work today, so he called off enjoying this beautiful day outside. He didn't want to get recognized, put on a gorilla suit, and used his gamer tag which is "Obamas Real Daddy". Case solved.

JohnDorian12

Asking "dandy" don Iscman about the law, is like asking an absolute fool about anything! I can't stomach Obama but even I think this crosses the line

queenjhb

Ever been to Sturgis? Just about anything goes on , the more shocking , the better, you know that at the start.

underthebridge

He's had a previous conviction for Gross Sexual Imposition. I wonder if it violates probation terms if there were any imposed?

FearistheMindKiller

Great quote from Steve Ernst:

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

REALLY bad idea:
"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."

Keep the free speech zones to the worthless Democrat & Republican presidential conventions, leave Bike Week alone.

lugnut2511

Hmm Violate our countries free speech ya say... Well im sure there's some way around it, I mean they're taking our guns from us when we have the right to bare arms. Land of the free my azz

Pterocarya frax...

Who is taking your guns?

The Big Dog's back

lunkhead, with your mentality, you shouldn't have a gun.

Sal Dali

The Gun Control Act of 1968 prohibits certain people from possessing firearms; state restrictions were challenged and decided in favor of the defendant (see District of Columbia v. Heller @ http://www.oyez.org/cases/2000-2...). Background checks are a hella idea and unless a person has some serious crazy in their past or present to hide these checks shouldn't be a concern.

nightroller's picture
nightroller

Pretty neat, I got a laugh out of it .....

MBR

He could not be arrested, but it certainly would have been fine to have him escorted off the premises. I'm sure that "inciting" the public or something along those lines would be proper cause for his removal. I'm no fan of Obama, but I definitely do not support racist actions.

The Big Dog's back

Not to worry. 3 months from now the right wingnuts will deny it ever happened, just like they did after the 2008 election.

Justwow

Obama and a dildo, I can totally see it.....I am all for it

sugar

Shut up bridge, watch your own backyard you narc, I hate narcs too.

underthebridge

It looks like the Gorilla is posting on the SR tonight.

sugar

If all of you self righteous fools remember the left wing did some horrible things to and with the image of Bush. Tough sh**.

WeThePeople1965

I thought I saw it all...

William Jeffers...

That's my ex-wife, and it ain't a costume.

deertracker

Can't be! It has to be my first girlfriend! Has to be!!!!!!!!!!

Truth2u

People called the NAACP?????? An organization STARTED BY REPUBLICANS? Why didn't they call the Democrats in Congress that started and were members of the KKK?

YouMustBeJoking

I just have a question. Is it racist when he jumps up and down and screams and yells at all the passing cars on Perkins Ave? He is a simple character that a local used car lot uses to try and get attention to their car lot. Wouldn't it be great if he went back downtown tonight, and the police took his mask off and found out it's a "black" person? Also what if Obamas real daddy shows up again but this time without the "dildo"? What then could the police do? If someone were to put on a donkey suit and walk around with a sign that reads Bush's real daddy, would that be racist? Do you really think the NAACP would step in? Hell no they wouldn't. The NAACP, creates racist turmoil, just so they can "think" that they are still relevant. They are just as worthless as this gorillas son... If you look at something and think it's racist, you too, are probably a racist

downthemiddle

YMBJ..

Thanks for the first intelligent, logical post.

Absolutely correct on all points.

JT Adams St

It would be racist if he jumped and down on Perkins Avenue wearing a gorilla suit while wearing a name tag saying "Clarence Thomas."

Also, someone with German ancestry would probably not be offended if you called them a "gook", while someone from Asia would have every right to be offended. As far as I know, there's no racial connotation to calling someone a donkey, or telling them that they are the son of a donkey. So, no, nobody would think it was racist if someone dressed up as a donkey and wore a sign reading "Bush's real daddy."

YouMustBeJoking

what is another name for a donkey? Answer= JT Adams St

Florence Nightingale

Exactly, JT.

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