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

Truth2u

Why isn't anyone more concerned about the dildo? This form of display isn't acceptable, just think of all the kids who see that and think its funny, diminishing even more the little morality left in this world.

OakieHarbor

Oh my, you must never in the future take a child to the zoo. Don't you know all those pervert animals are running around with NO CLOTHES ON! If you have this mindset we M U S T enact provisions that A L L creatures big or small be made to wear loin cloths as to no offend you! Yea that will work nicely.

Truth2u

Why isn't anyone more concerned about the dildo? This form of display isn't acceptable, just think of all the kids who see that and think its funny, diminishing even more the little morality left in this world.

OakieHarbor

The sinister dog owners who parade their male dogs around their neighborhood that will hike their leg up and show their goods to anyone foolish enough to look! We need change NOW.

underthebridge

The person that many suspect is wearing the Gorilla Suit and brandishing the dildo has a previous conviction for a sexual offense. (go to page 2 of these comments and look for the posts) Is this a violation of a status as a sexual offender?

ladydye_5

"that many SUSPECT". Has it been proven who is in the suit? Maybe the man let someone borrow his costume? Maybe someone else has one like it. You can buy them anywhere. Are sex offenders not allowed to own dildos?

underthebridge

I asked the question. I'm wondering if an obscenity or public indecency charge might be a violation of his status as a registered sexual offender. I guess a sexual offender can own a dildo, but I'm wondering if taking the device to a public event is public indecency?

YouMustBeJoking

The person that was referenced, in previous comments, as being Obamas real daddy, is currently incarcerated at the Erie County Jail.

bluedot

Take a real good look at this offensive piece of work and you will see that there is a really large piece of the puzzle missing. On facebook you can see the whole kit and kaboodle. Not only is this not funny the picture is lewd and very distasteful. Typical and funny well I guess if you are in tune with this sort of nonsense. This was a one man circus where one individual played the role of clown and beast! What a ridiculous waste.... Can't wait till next year to see what else this traveling circus act will bring to town. SMH!

Donegan

Everyone knows Obama's dad was a communist, Which to me is way more offensive than some idiot in a gorilla costume.

Cowboy

Was that you Flash?

XxAeroStarz69xx

Lmfao. Funny as he!! to me. Take a joke people. The president SUCKS !

lifetimeresident

If I had to guess it was either The Reverend Al Sharpton or Jessie Jackson in the costum. They enjoy keeping whites and blacks against each other. Very poor taste. I hope they find this idiot and tie him/her to a tree the rest of the party so everyone black and white can just walk by and tell their kids this is what we do to racist idiots in our town.

Wjones44

Is it true there will be numerous DUI checkpoints coming out of downtown tomorrow night?

YouMustBeJoking

I'm sure there will be. There have been many "unofficial" checkpoints all week. Don't chance it. It's not worth it. The scanner has been going non-stop with motorcycle accidents all night. I can't remember a bike week with this many accidents, and its only Friday, and not even midnight yet.

Julie R.

This ignorant low I.Q. moron trash just got his or her five minutes of fame. Probably waited all year for it.

SanduskyGuardian

For everyone who seems to think that people were appalled by this man's act. I can assure you that I have seen many more pictures of this event than you have. The people present seemed to think it was quite funny, most were laughing, a few looked uncomfortable, but the biker crowd enjoyed it. What hasn't been mentioned is how many of the female bystanders went up to the gorilla and performed lewd acts with it, posing for pictures. This is how that crowd behaves in our town square. They all need to go rent the fairgrounds and make it adult only. I do find it interesting that the fellow they keep mentioning was booked into jail on June 6th. As vulgar and disgusting as he was, these filthy bikers enjoyed it and we all have to tolerate them swine because they spend oh so much money here (having 20 of them crash in a 2 bedroom condo), I can not imagine that he broke any laws (maybe Lewd conduct). It is nice that the Sandusky Police can arrest a man for this but let DJs go for years with shootings and crime.

sugar

Wow aren't you a piece if work, this event is not billed for children, take your kids to Cedar Point. These are bikers, learn some tolerance.

Wald

Funny you preaching tolerance. Hypocrite.

sugar

What am I intolerant of? Not agreeing with you? Thinking the POTUS is all of those "things" I mentioned? That's an opinion, it infringes on you in no way.

deertracker

You are correct! It is your opinion that you are rightly entitled to but it is not based on facts so you are really equal to the gorilla as far as your voice is concerned. No, it does not infringe on anyone either but an intelligent post from you is overdue! Long overdue!

Wald

How does someone not liking bike week infringe upon you? See, it goes both ways. You brought up tolerance but talk out of both sides of your mouth. You just want tolerance for the things you like, but I hate to break it to you, other people's opinions are every bit as valid as yours, even those who like the President or think this gorilla guy is racist.

lmalley77

Everybody keeps saying "freedom of speech," but tell me why I heard that the police made someone turn their t-shirt inside out at bike week because it said "F the police?" That's freedom of speech also isn't it? So why would the police be offended by a t-shirt that expresses someone's freedom of speech because it represents that persons personal thoughts about the police, but they refuse to do anything about this clown blatantly disrespecting our country's President? The problem that most people are failing to realize, is that the person who was wearing this gorilla suit, and disrespecting our President, was also wearing a foot long DILDO on the outside of his costume, in public, while there were children in the same area as him! I was down at bike week and one of my friends was told that some of the police were even down there taking pictures with the person in the suit! I'm not saying that's true because I wasn't there to see it, and that's hearsay, but if it is true, all I can say is, it wouldn't surprise me! There is photo evidence of this guy wearing the DILDO on the outside of his costume, in public, so I don't understand why something can't be done to him, even if it's public indecency!

sugar

Wearing a dildo is not public indecency, leaving yourself hanging out is. If you remember people HUNG BUSH. Oh by the way that garbage is NOT my President.

deertracker

Who is your President? Wearing a dildo is indecent. This is just not the place for this!

sugar

You elected him, I didn't. I knew what he was the minute he opened his mouth. Unfortunately the BS he does affects me, but my president? Nah.

deertracker

How have you been negatively effected sugar? How? America elected him. I am only one person. How can you know anyone the "minute" they open their mouth?

Once again: WHO IS YOUR PRESIDENT?

hard2believe

What does the dildo have to do with gorillas or Obama? Maybe if you ignore him, he will go away.

underthebridge

Unfortunately, there is as much of a chance that ignoring him will send the message to him that his obscene conduct is acceptable.

nobodycares

Hey all you naacp folks, oh and what does that stand for ? Truth hurts doesnt it ! Hahahaha i think the guy is hilarious ! Thank God obamama is about out of office!

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