Airport Chief Warns: Sex in the Stalls Unwelcome

May 24, 2007
"People who want to have sex ought to get a room," says ATL general manager Ben DeCosta

The man who runs the world's busiest airport has some advice for men contemplating extracurricular activities at Atlanta's Hartsfield-Jackson International Airport.

"People who want to have sex ought to get a room," airport General Manager Ben DeCosta said Wednesday after he learned police are continuing to arrest men seeking out other men for sexual favors at Hartsfield-Jackson's many public restrooms.

Police officers have busted 50 men on charges of bathroom sex at the airport since December, including the former board chairman of MARTA, a North Carolina professor and, recently, a South Carolina pediatrician.

DeCosta said police are not targeting unlawful public sex acts, but plainclothes officers do patrol the bathrooms looking for luggage thieves. The thieves steal luggage and then rifle through it in bathroom stalls to sift out any valuables. Police searching for thieves occasionally discover men having sex --- or soliciting sex --- in the bathrooms, he said,

"It's a regular police operation," he said. "There's nothing special about it."

The airport chief said he assumed that numerous news reports about the arrests would have deterred sex acts at Hartsfield-Jackson. But men seeking other men for sexual contact still mention the airport as a meeting place on several Internet sites.

"You think they'd have gotten the message," he said, "but it turns out that human beings are strange."

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