High-profile arrests seem to have reduced the use of restrooms at Hartsfield-Jackson Atlanta International Airport for sexual encounters...

Share story

ATLANTA — High-profile arrests seem to have reduced the use of restrooms at Hartsfield-Jackson Atlanta International Airport for sexual encounters, police say.

Arrests for public indecency at the airport have declined since the high-profile arrests of Ed Wall, former chairman of the Metropolitan Atlanta Rapid Transit Authority, and Sen. Larry Craig, R-Idaho, said Maj. Darryl Tolleson, head of police operations at the airport.

“We’re averaging one public indecency arrest per month since June,” Tolleson said. “It’s really tapered off since, and I think all the publicity has helped.”

After 11 arrests for public indecency at the airport in January, eight in February, 12 in March, one in April and 10 in May, police reported one arrest each in June, July and August.

Like others around the country, the airport is often listed on Internet sites as a place where men solicit other men for anonymous sexual encounters.

Wall was arrested at the airport in March by an undercover police officer who said he observed Wall performing a sex act in a handicapped stall with a man Wall met over the Internet. Wall, who resigned as MARTA chairman, has contested the public indecency charges and his lawyer says the case remains unresolved.

Craig was arrested in June in a men’s room at the Minneapolis-St.Paul International Airport. He pleaded guilty, but has since moved to withdraw his plea.