You'd think the former head of the Metroparks, a man surely familiar with some of the seedier activities that go on beneath the blossoms and trees, a man undoubtedly aware that the Metroparks and police run stings to catch individuals involved in those seedy activities, would not go to the Metroparks and indulge in those seedy activities.
You'd be wrong.
64-year-old Vern Hartenburg, who ran the Metroparks for more than two decades, was arrested in an undercover sting operation this weekend by rangers. Five other men were nabbed in the sting.
Hartenburg allegedly flashed his twig and Buckeye nuts to a male ranger after the ranger briefly chatted with Hartenburg and approached his car. The practice of flashing your junk to a stranger while generally frowned upon also happens to be illegal. What he was looking for exactly, while one could certainly fathom a reasonable guess, isn't yet nailed down. According to the PD, the parks run about 25 such operations each year.
The former Metroparks chief, in a stroke (yes, that was intentional) of awkward irony, was arrested in the same Memphis Picnic Area of the Big Creek reservation where Olmsted Township Police Chief Charles McNeely was cuffed for a similar junk-flashing incident just two years ago.
We welcome readers to submit letters regarding articles and content in Cleveland Scene. Letters should be a minimum of 150 words, refer to content that has appeared on Cleveland Scene, and must include the writer's full name, address, and phone number for verification purposes. No attachments will be considered. Writers of letters selected for publication will be notified via email. Letters may be edited and shortened for space.
Email us at firstname.lastname@example.org.
Support Local Journalism.
Join the Cleveland Scene Press Club
Local journalism is information. Information is power. And we believe everyone deserves access to accurate independent coverage of their community and state. Our readers helped us continue this coverage in 2020, and we are so grateful for the support.
Help us keep this coverage going in 2021. Whether it's a one-time acknowledgement of this article or an ongoing membership pledge, your support goes to local-based reporting from our small but mighty team.