Florida State Rep. Bob Allen, arrested on July 11 outside a bathroom in a public park for allegedly offering to pay an undercover police officer for sex, came under fire this week for comments that critics have called racist and insensitive.
In a taped statement to police, Allen, a Republican, told investigators he was just playing along when the undercover Titusville officer suggested oral sex and $20 because he was intimidated by the “stocky black guy,” according to the statement.
Allen, who is white, also said that there “was nothing but other black guys around in the park” and that he thought he was about to be robbed. At the time, Allen was unaware the other men also were undercover officers.
Allen’s attorney, Greg Eisenmenger, has said Allen will not resign and has insisted that Allen’s fear stemmed from the men’s size and street clothes, not the color of their skin.
Eisenmenger also said that the officer was the one who approached Allen and suggested having sex for money, instead of the other way around, as police had said.
Police have said officers were in the area of the park on another case when they noticed a disheveled, unshaven man later determined to be Allen go in and out of the bathroom several times. The undercover officer went into the bathroom because officers suspected the man was looking for a sexual encounter.
This article appeared in the Dallas Voice print edition August 10, 2007