Police capture naked man on Kansas River trails; multiple sightings reported in recent weeks

At least three times in the past two weeks, police have responded to reports of a naked man spotted on the Kansas River trails in Lawrence.

The first couple of times they were called out, officers never found anyone matching that description. But over the weekend, they did.

People using the levee trail — just north of the Kansas River — reported seeing a naked man around 10 a.m. Saturday. Arriving officers caught a glimpse of him on the path, too, but only briefly before he disappeared into the woods, Officer Drew Fennelly said, in an email to the Journal-World.

“He was quickly moving away from them and they lost sight of him behind the trees in the winding path,” Fennelly said.

With help from trail users updating police on the naked man’s location, one of the officers was able to locate him as he was entering the Kansas River, and the man was taken into custody, Fennelly said. Jail and court records show that the suspect, a 29-year-old Lawrence man, was booked into jail on suspicion of lewd and lascivious behavior but later released with no charges.

Around 7 p.m. May 29, police responded to a report “of a naked man covered in mud on the mountain bike trail” near Oak Street, police said that week. Officers searched the area but couldn’t find him. A little over an hour later, police got a report of “a man running naked” near Mud Creek Park, a few miles farther east, but again found no one.

Fennelly said this week that police aren’t sure whether the reports involve the same person. He said, “It is unknown if this is related to the other reports in the area, but that cannot be ruled out at this time.”

photo by: Mike Yoder

In this file photo from October 2010, a jogger on the Kansas River levee trail disappears into thick morning fog.

Contact Journal-World public safety reporter Sara Shepherd


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