By Ed Brock
Riverdale police Capt. Carl Freeman turned himself in to Fayette County authorities Wednesday to face charges that he exposed himself at an amusement park.
"What's going on now is really being blown out of proportion," Freeman told reporters as he arrived at the Fayette County Sheriff's Office around 10:30 a.m.
Freeman has been charged with public indecency, disorderly conduct, criminal trespass and simple assault, all of which are misdemeanors.
The charges stem from an incident that occurred Labor Day at Dixieland Fun Park near Fayetteville. John Williams, the owner of the park, told police that he saw Freeman urinate into a pond at the park while standing on a deck overlooking the park.
"Mr. Freeman was confronted by the owner which resulted in an altercation," said Sgt. Belinda McCastle with the Fayette Sheriff's Office.
Freeman said in televised reports that he did urinate in the pond but he thought that nobody was watching and he thought that because the park was closed that the bathroom facilities were closed, too.
Also, Freeman said that Williams was the aggressor in the confrontation that followed. According to the Fayette County arrest warrants, Freeman used "fighting words" and profanity toward Williams.
Williams could not be reached for comment.
Alcohol did not appear to be a factor in the incident, McCastle said.
At a bond hearing Wednesday night, Freeman was granted a bond of $20,000 with the conditions that he have no contact with the owner of the amusement park or the owner's family, and that he does not go onto amusement park property. Freeman was expected to make bond.
Freeman is currently on paid administrative leave pending the outcome of the case.
"Of course we're saddened that it's one of our own," Riverdale police spokeswoman Officer Debra Smith said. "We didn't expect this at all."
Smith said that the department has to put the case in Fayette County's hands. Freeman has been with the department since 1990.