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

lmalley77

No, your ignorance is just that, IGNORANCE!!!! Those "great black folks" are in the positions that they are in because they applied themselves and got an education and actually did something with themselves! Nothing was handed to them. There are plenty of worthless WHITE people in this country as well, so for you talk as though ALL black people are a disgrace, and only got to where they are because of "affirmative action," speaks volumes as to your ignorance!!

huronguy2

don't put in caps ALL when i said HALF your making things up and changing my words, lmalley! yes, i stand by my comment that a lot of them are where they are because of affirmative action. Every black person 18 and older has made a racist comment towards a white person but God forbid any race especially white folks say anything about them. the difference is white folks don't need black folks but they need us and have to play the game! they judge us as a whole for less than 5% of the population that owned slaves when it was legal but again God forbid if we do the same when at least HALF act like wiggles. when we become the minority you think they'll fight for our "rights" ? a big fat NO because they will judge whitey based upon the few % that owned slaves. Blacks talk about whites badly behind their backs but smile to our face because they need us and can't advance on their own. look at Africa any advancements their is due to the Europeans across the world, not them on there own. you advance through hard work and determination not crying and whining looking for a handout. I have way more respect for the blacks in past decades than the generation now. At least the blacks back in the day had something to cry about! but it seems something went way wrong starting in the late 60's and on I personally believe the moral decline in all American is due to music and television. it's mostly all filth.

FTFOI

It is not racial. It is what is taught in school last month. Evolution.

lmalley77

First and foremost, I never see white people becoming the minority unless it would be due to bi-racial people becoming the majority. The white people who are racist need to get over the fact that it is becoming more and more popular for children to be born to parents of different races. The problem with little ol' Sandusky is that people act like we are the worst city in the world. I would hate for some of you guys to go and live in the heart of the Bronx or Detroit or Chicago or how about even on the other side of the world where food and water and clothing are not a daily guarantee! You people get on here and whine and moan and complain and argue politics with each other daily and complain about how Sandusky is oh so bad, but you don't realize how good you really have it!!! The guy in the suit with a foot long DILDO strapped to it was just plain out MORALLY wrong and was being racist towards our president no matter how you slice it!!! All politics aside, right wing, left wing, breast or thigh, dark meat or white meat, BBQ sauce or plain, HE WAS WRONG!!!! PERIOD! And so were you Huronguy when you made your racist statement about Cops and bait car!! PERIOD!!

sugar

Absolutely true. Here in the WH we have a (half) black man who deliberately lies, misleads the people. He has no respect for America it's traditions, it's vets, it's values. Yet we are supposed to look up to this race? Pffttt they have caused their own problems. I've been called filthy racist names by blacks, they want to be treated better, act better.

ContraryAnn

I'm so grateful to the SR for allowing bigoted ethnic slurists to spew your hatred for all to see and appreciate.

It's not unlike the hatred spewed by the Clive Bundy followers who killed two police officers and covered their bodies with a Tea Party and Swastika flags.

So proud to know Sandusky produced you.

ContraryAnn

Another of the CLIVE BUNDY militia...

Free Speech ISN'T. Ask those two dead police whose bodies were desecrated by Bundy followers.

SanduskyGuardian

Huron guy2. Maybe you should reinforce your point by comparing how many blacks are in prison for felonies compared to how many are in college. Over half of the females that do bother to hold jobs work for the "gubbermint" and the rest that are hired to be tokens at real companies I am sure are the hardest working people you will ever meet because they know they have to work twice as hard to get half as much. I would like someone to say with a straight face that they would be happy to have colored move into their area. They know the ruin everything.

ContraryAnn

Sandusky Guardian... it would seem Matt Westerhold is as racist as you.

sanduskyace

i think people need to get over whoever is president and start to make their own luck. I mean were things really that much better under bush? the country is in the position it is because of DECADES of poor decision making, greed, and lack of investment. work hard and good things will come your way. liberals and republicans are meaningless phrases ...just social constructs set up to divide people. I cant for the life of me figure out why people fight about politics. and if this guy wants to dress up like a gorilla let him. people like this are grasping at straws and just embarrasing themselves. just my two cents

Blowfish

The under 30 crowd has an entirely different view on race than their parents. They know who really screwed up America. What remains to be seen is can they fix it in time or is the country already a lost cause?

Dr. Information

In the politically correct nation we live in, a TURBIN a white ROBE a long beard bearing an ak 47 would have been more spot on.

ContraryAnn

Jesus carries an AK47?

Clive Bundy just gave us a great lesson on the 'price' of free speech - two police dead and their bodies desecrated - killed by two people who took to heart his sedition.

Steelerfan7272
joshua206's picture
joshua206

I laughed, and laughed when I saw the picture, hell I am still laughing. I know the colored people are going to be upset, but I bet even they laughed a little.

ContraryAnn

"the COLORED people"?

Nicole

Offensive is subjective. Who cares what anyone thinks anyway. Don't take your kids to bike week. Nothing to see here, except rubber body parts, move along.

Nicole

I must admit I thought the hat was a nice touch.

White Bigot

I think that the gorilla is better looking than his son, the President.

ContraryAnn

FREEDOM OF SPEECH has repercussions.
Thank you, CLIVE BUNDY for proving this for America.
The man and woman who killed two police officers we followers of BUNDY and had been at his demonstrations over grazing rights.
BUNDY made all his free speech about overthrowing the government and how someone needs to answer. And the militias showed up with their huge guns strapped on.
THE TWO took all that 'free speech' to heart and acted upon it...covering the bodies of the dead police with a Tea Party flag and a Swastika flag.

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