‘Like full naked, everything’: South Sound residents want action to clean up park ‘Lots for Tots’

TACOMA, Wash. — Some South Sound residents are fed up with what is happening at a park that is supposed to be for children.

It is called ‘Lots for Tots’ but the park in Tacoma is used mostly by adults.

Now frustrated neighbors want the city to act, especially after an indecent act just happened there on Saturday.

That was when people in Tacoma had just had it. Residents said if the park isn’t for toddlers, it should be repurposed and called something else.

Robert Perkins, a lifelong Hilltop resident, was asked if children use the park.

“Every once in a while,” Perkins said, “but it’s usually adults or a dog park.”

Alma Collins was walking her dog and said this park was once used by a nearby daycare, but not anymore.

“Because you have Wright’s Park,” said Collins. “They have the pool, the kiddie pool, the swings. They can go down there and play. This is, it’s just too much.”

The indecency is too much for property owner Mike Rios, too.

“Like fully naked, everything,” he said.

He received a video of people doing lewd acts in the afternoon on the playset.

“It’s just always been a lot of activity other than children being in here,” Rios said. “It’s ‘Lots for Tots’, so our tax dollars paid for this park to build a playground for toddlers.”

Late last month, there was a fire underneath the play equipment.

At the park, KIRO 7′s Deborah Horne saw that there are cigarette butts aplenty, even what seemed to be a drug pipe.

Now Rios and his neighbors would like Tacoma’s Metro Parks to step in to make it safe.

“Like they need to be here on at least like a daily basis or maybe you know every other day,” Rios said. “Because this park is always inundated with transients. There’s no way that a kid could ever try to use that playground.”

Metro Parks appears to have gotten the message, as not one, but two security patrols were at the park after KIRO 7 alerted them to the residents’ concerns.

Security removed the adults who were in the park.

A spokeswoman said anyone who sees anything illegal at the park, like what happened Saturday afternoon, should always call 911.