Eighteen men suspected of using a public restroom for illegal sexual activity on California's Manhattan Beach have been arrested following a series of undercover operations by local police officers.
As the Associated Press reports, beach lifeguards had tipped officers off, saying the beach bathroom on Marine Avenue had become a popular meeting spot for sexual activity, with men staying inside for over an hour at times.
Lifeguards told police that instead of seeing one pair of feet in a stall, "sometimes they would see two or three," Manhattan Beach Officer Stephanie Martin tells the Torrance Daily Breeze. "MBPD learned the public restroom was being used as a meeting place for sexual activity. Undercover detectives conducted a visual inspection of the restroom and set up surveillance of the location. Within minutes of their arrival, they made their first arrest."
Lifeguards had also previously found graffiti of graphic sexual images on restroom walls, and holes drilled through stall partitions, the Breeze reports. Prior to the arrests, detectives also monitored chat rooms and social media sites, where they learned that the restroom had become a popular meeting spot for local men to engage in sex, NBC Southern California notes.
The 18 suspects were reportedly held on suspicion of offenses such as soliciting or engaging in lewd conduct in a public place, loitering in and around a public toilet for the purpose of engaging or soliciting a lewd or unlawful act, utilizing a restroom peephole, invasion of privacy, resisting arrest and indecent exposure.