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01 November 2004

Caught With Their Pants Down
By Julia Scheeres

Eight years ago, Brian Bates got fed up with prostitutes brazenly plying their trade on the streets of his Oklahoma City neighborhood and the apparent indifference of city officials. When a police department representative told him there was nothing law enforcement could do unless officers actually heard a prostitute offer sex for money or saw the sex act itself, Bates decided to gather that hard evidence for them. He picked up his handheld video camera and went on a one-man crusade, filming prostitutes and johns having sex in public spaces, then dialing 911 and placing the copulating couples under citizen's arrest until officers arrived. Faced with this filmic evidence, most of his subjects quickly pleaded guilty. Bates, a baby-faced 34-year-old marketing professional who calls prostitution a "plague of immorality," estimates he's caught several hundred such meretricious exchanges on tape. Over the years, he says he's had local thugs fire shots at him, prostitutes mace him, and johns try to run him down in their cars. He filmed his first coupling in 1996, when he was driving to work and found himself waiting at a stop sign behind three cars, all of whose drivers were being chatted up by prostitutes. He had his video camera ready, so when one of the prostitutes climbed into a small blue hatchback, he followed the car to a dead-end street, then walked up to the side window and taped the woman fellating the driver.

"You're busted, buddy -- I hope you're not married," he yelled in what would become his signature battle cry.


Here's a citizen helping the authorities. Very noble of him?

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