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Boulder’s Naked Halloween Streak : Sex Crime

November 2, 2009

WallStreetJournal : Boulder’s Naked Halloween Streak May Be Coming to an End – Police Chief Calls It a Crime.

Boulder, Colo. — The Naked Pumpkin Run.. The event is exactly what its name implies. Scores of men and women pour into downtown streets for a late-night jog, wearing not a stitch between the jack-o’-lanterns on their heads and the sneakers on their feet. For nearly a decade, naked pumpkin runners did their thing unmolested, stampeding through the frigid dark past crowds of admirers who hooted, hollered and tossed candy. But last year the run attracted more than 150 participants, and Police Chief Mark Beckner fears things are getting out of hand. “It’s a free-for-all,” he says. So he intends to stop it.

He will station more than 40 officers on the traditional four-block route tonight, with two SWAT teams patrolling nearby. All have orders to arrest gourd-topped streakers as sex offenders.

Oleg Abramov, a 31-year-old planetary scientist, says it’s an excruciating choice. He loves the run; he calls it a “liberating and somewhat surreal community arts project.” But being labeled a sex offender could ruin his career.

Roane Buja, a 22-year-old senior at the University of Colorado knows a jury might not see it her way, and she can’t risk a conviction as a sex offender. “I’m going into education,” she says, “and I don’t know that’s necessarily the best thing to have on my record.”

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