January 21, 2002 at 4:33 PM EST - Updated July 2 at 9:46 PM
AKRON, Ohio (AP) - The city has made public urination a littering offense because of difficulty prosecuting offenders for public indecency.
Since October, police have charged seven people with littering for relieving themselves in public. Littering is a third-degree misdemeanor, punishable by up to 60 days in jail and a $500 fine.
Most of the cases happened downtown, which police point to as the most popular spot for public urination. In three of the cases, officers said the offenders were relieving themselves in "full view of traffic."
"Public urination may seem very trivial to some, but when it's occurring at your business or in your lawn, it can be very upsetting," Akron Police Capt. Paul Calvaruso said.
City prosecutors had trouble convicting offenders under the public indecency law because it requires proof that someone was "affronted."
(Copyright 2002 by The Associated Press. All Rights Reserved.)