FAIRFIELD — An octogenarian couple charged with others at a town park after police were called by neighbors reporting inappropriate behavior say they are innocent.
Joyce Butler, 85, and her husband Richard, 82, were arrested last week on breach of peace charges at the Grace Richardson Conservation Area. Four other people were also charged with breach of peace; two of those had an added charge of public indecency.
The Butlers told the website The Smoking Gun, which posts legal documents, arrest records, and police mugshots, all they were doing at the conservation area was siting inside their car.
“We were just sitting there and we just got caught in what was going on,” Joyce Butler told TSG. “And they (the police) were perfectly all wrong. There was nothing going on at all. We’ve gone there for years. We used to take the children to go find golf balls years ago when they were little.”
The 87-acre park is adjacent to a public golf course.
Richard Butler was more specific that he’s innocent of lewd behavior.
“I haven’t had sex in maybe, 10 years. I got no blood flow. I got three doctors that would back me up,” he told the website.
He told TSG he was driving when police pulled them over on their way home to Bridgeport. He initially thought he was going to be ticketed for driving without his seatbelt, but then several cop cars approached.
The two said they plan to fight the charge in Bridgeport Superior Court on Tuesday.
Fairfield police said they received several complaints of inappropriate behavior at the area.
The Grace Richardson parcel was part of a major acquisition by the town from the H. Smith Richardson family in 1966. The rest became the H. Smith Richardson Golf Course and the Hoyden’s Hill Open Space.
The Fairfield Police Department’s Quality of Life Unit was assigned to investigate. On Aug. 9, officers and detectives from both the Special Services Unit and the Quality of Life Unit conducted surveillance in and around the open space area.
“Several violations were observed,” police said.
It led to the arrests of the Butlers; Daniel Dobbins, 67, charged with breach of peace and public indecency; Otto D. Williams, 62, charged with breach of peace; Charles L. Ardito, 75, charged with breach of peace; and John Linartz, 62, charged with breach of peace and public indecency.
An internet search revealed the park has been advertised on at least one “City Hookup Guide” site as a meetup spot along with other Fairfield locations, including the Jefferson Street commuter lot and McDonald’s at the Interstate-95 Service Plaza. Police are continuing to monitor the locations and internet advertising.