READ MORE | Can you give Atlanta police LGBT liaisons a ride?

imageA 29-year-old man was arrested Friday evening in the locker room of gay-popular LA Fitness in Ansley Mall for allegedly masturbating and humping a gym-goer in the bathroom.

Edwin Troy Causey (top photo) was arrested in the locker room and charged with public indecency and simple battery. He remains in the Fulton County Jail on $1,500 bond, according to jail records.

Charlie Stadtlander (second photo), an LGBT activist and former candidate for the Atlanta City Council and Board of Education, said he spotted Causey in the restroom of the gym when he entered at the end of his workout a little after 7 p.m. on Friday. He noticed some movement by Causey in his peripheral vision and turned to find him allegedly masturbating, Stadtlander says.

From there, the incident took a more serious turn, he says.

“I turned around and looked and [Causey] was basically jerking off and watching himself in the mirror, Stadtlander says. “At that point I decided to get out of the bathroom. I was trying not to make a scene. I started to back up and he walked up pretty quickly to the urinal next me and he didn’t say anything to me and he grabs my leg. I started trying to push him off and he started thrusting himself on my leg. I pushed him off of me and I went and locked myself in one of the stalls.”

A police report alleges that Causey “rubbed his penis against” Stadtlander, who says he waited until Causey left the bathroom before he entered the locker room to grab his workout bag and cellphone to call police.

“When I went to get my bag, he laid down on the floor naked and started rolling around the floor near the fan,” Stadtlander says.

imageAfter Stadtlander left the locker room, a witness told police that he spotted Causey allegedly sitting “spread-eagle style” on the floor and that he allegedly gestured with his fingers “mimicking using drugs” and asked if that turned on the gym-goer. He replied, “No, and let me be clear, I’m not interested,” according to a police report.

Stadtlander says that Atlanta police officers arrived within minutes of his call, and one from gym management, to 911. Stadtlander, concerned with how officers might react to the incident given the Atlanta Police Department’s troubled relationship with LGBT people since the Eagle raid, asked an officer to notify one of the agency’s LGBT liaisons. The officer did so and a detective who arrived detailed the case to Officer Brian Sharp, one of two LGBT liaisons with Atlanta police.

“I didn’t know how this was going to be handled and I was concerned,” Stadtlander says. “The officers handled it fantastically. They were very polite to me and very comforting and extremely professional. After the way the police handled it, I definitely have renewed confidence in them.”

Stadtlander says that despite the gym’s cruisy reputation, no one should be subjected to the type of behavior that happened to him.

“I don’t believe anybody has a right to assault another person, regardless of where they are. I just really dispute that is commonplace at that place. I have been working out there for almost four years and I have never had a situation like this happen. I have never heard about this happening,” he says.