San Antonio residents spot inappropriate behavior at city parks

However, behavior at San Antonio city parks has some residents not only concerned, but creeped out as well.

A recent Reddit thread started a necessary conversation about inappropriate behavior at public parks, greenways, and other outdoor spaces in San Antonio. The man who began the conversation, and who wished to be identified as Edward, says he moved to San Antonio a few weeks ago and has already observed multiple instances of men taking pictures of women in public spaces, particularly while women are running at public parks.

“I observed a man with expensive Nikes and hooded rain gear in the middle of a sunny day using his phone parallel to him, meaning he was holding it in front of him rather than looking down,” Edward says.

He clarified that the man exhibited behavior different from the homeless population he’s seen during his runs. Edward also noted that the man was in a “less open” area that was closer to a more isolated nature part of the park.

Although Edward says he only moved to San Antonio a few weeks ago, other residents on Reddit shared their own experiences and observations to confirm Edward’s concerns.

“My gf has been walking with friends and had men approach her, stating that two women being together is against god etc. and that’s also creepy af,” one person wrote.

“I like to show off, I wear revealing clothes. BUT, if I catch a pervert taking pictures of me without me knowing I would probably throw a fit!” a woman shared. “It’s not right. It’s invasive. It’s creepy.”

“I’m not a woman, so I never felt the danger of getting my picture taken,” a man admitted. “Why can’t we guys just look with our eyes, smile, and acknowledge the beauty?”

In realizing the extent of residents’ concerns, MySA reached out to the City of San Antonio’s Parks and Recreations department and specifically asked about incidents regarding individuals taking inappropriate pictures and exhibiting other displays of creepy behavior; available data related to said incidents; and potential action taken. A spokesperson for the department provided the following statement on behalf of Parks and Recreation management.

“Parks Department prioritizes safety for all of its park users and works in partnership with Park Police, Trail Stewards, and volunteer Trail Ambassadors to provide presence and support in our public green spaces,” the statement reads.

The department also directed MySA to a PSA video with trail safety tips, which only addressed using a buddy system and letting loved ones know your location.

Many San Antonians, particularly women, already make it a point to stay active in large numbers with groups like City Girls Who Walk, Hikerbabes, and the San Antonio Plus Sized Women’s Hiking Group. Though good does come in large numbers, folks using public green spaces on their own or outside of these groups may still, and rightfully so, have some concerns.

Unfortunately, the plan of action, from the City’s viewpoint at least, in incidents like these is to call 210-207-7484 and request a Park Police Officer for assistance. Please call 911 in the event of an emergency.

Stay safe, San Antonio.

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