A Kamloops-area man who was caught touching himself on a picnic table near a drive-thru in Cache Creek has been ordered to spend a day in jail and complete 20 hours of community service.
Ford Zachary Scott Gardner, 60, pleaded guilty Thursday in Kamloops provincial court to one count of indecent exhibition in a public place.
Court heard a woman in Cache Creek called police on Oct. 25, 2022, after she saw a man touching himself.
“The person was going through the drive-thru and could see quite clearly a person at a nearby picnic table was seated and appeared to be masturbating,” Crown prosecutor Alex Wheele said in court.
“He was a little ways away from the drive-thru but in plain view of the drive-thru, such that anyone going through there would see him and see what he was doing.”
Wheele said police showed up and arrested Gardner, who was described as very intoxicated.
Defence lawyer Murray Armstrong offered something of an explanation. He said Gardner had recently finished a 2.5-hour walk in “heavy army pants” and was very sweaty.
“He says he was hot and sweaty and scratching,” he said. “He was certainly reckless as to where he was doing it, but he wasn’t intending to offend anybody.”
Wheele then suggested pausing sentencing submissions to allow court to watch the surveillance video showing Gardner's actions outside the A&W.
“It does make the excuse of excessive digging and scratching in one’s pants a little harder to believe,” he said.
Armstrong eventually admitted that Gardner “appeared to be masturbating” and the hearing continued.
Gardner said the whole thing was blown out of proportion.
“It was a very misconstrued situation,” he said.
“I was walking for two hours and I had some very heavy pants on. I was rather sweaty around my genital area and I was trying to wipe it off. It could have looked awkward to somebody else who may have seen that, but that wasn’t the incident that took place.”
Wheele was seeking a 30-day jail sentence, while Armstrong suggested a day in jail and community service.
Kamloops provincial court Judge Ray Phillips sided with Armstrong, sentencing Gardner to a day in jail and 20 hours of community service, which must be completed before his one-year period of probation is up.
Gardner will also be prohibited from going to the Cache Creek A&W and from having any contact with the complainant.