ADVERTISEMENT

ADVERTISEMENT

ADVERTISEMENT

Police name man banned from downtown Fargo pool after taking photos, say he was cited for pot possession

FARGO - The man with shoulder-length red hair stood by the sidewalk just north of Island Park Pool. In the muggy heat, he wore gray slacks and a silky, blue, long-sleeve shirt.

pool.jpg
Facebook photo
We are part of The Trust Project.

FARGO – The man with shoulder-length red hair stood by the sidewalk just north of Island Park Pool. In the muggy heat, he wore gray slacks and a silky, blue, long-sleeve shirt.

From his perch along First Avenue South, the man, who appeared to be in his 20s or 30s, could peer down on swimmers by the pool’s diving boards. He would look around, act like he was smoking and then snap a photo using a camera with a zoom lens.

Jed Felix said he witnessed all this on Monday afternoon. After watching the man surreptitiously take photos for a while, Felix confronted him and asked what he was doing. “He said he was just taking pictures and that he was an artist,” said Felix, 26, of Fargo. “He said it’s completely legal.”

It’s true that shooting photos in a public place is legal. But this man’s actions led the Fargo Park District to have police “trespass” him, meaning that if he returns to any of the city's public pool, he could be arrested.

“The Park District realized this is somebody they don’t want hanging around their parks,” said Sgt. Matt Christensen of the Fargo Police Department.

ADVERTISEMENT

Police on Monday declined to identify the man. But on Tuesday, Lt. Mike Mitchell said the photographer is Kirk Ludwig of Fargo. Phone messages left for Ludwig were not immediately returned.

Detectives interviewed Ludwig after learning he was taking photos near the pool, Christensen said. Ultimately, he was not arrested and was allowed to go on his way. He was cited, however, for allegedly possessing a small amount of marijuana and drug paraphernalia. 

Even though Ludwig wasn’t charged with a crime related to taking photos, Christensen said, residents should still report similar behavior to the police when they see it.

For instance, investigators want to know if someone is taking photos of kids at a school because that person may be a sex offender who’s not allowed to be there, said Lt. Jerry Boyer of the West Fargo Police Department.

“We want to be aware of that immediately,” Boyer said.

On Facebook, Felix posted photos of Ludwig aiming his camera at the pool. This prompted many people to share Felix’s post and write angry comments directed at the photographer.

One of the comments was from a woman who said she saw the same man taking photos of women in bikinis on Friday in Island Park.

“We watched as he set his camera on his lap and aim it at women in the park and then moments later look through the shots he just took,” she said in a post on her own Facebook site, which included a photo of the alleged photographer, a man with long red hair who looked like the man Felix encountered.

ADVERTISEMENT

Felix said Ludwig would not tell him his name or show him the photos he’d taken.

“He was very calm during the entire thing like he knew that he was in the right,” Felix said. “He said that until it’s illegal, he’s going to keep doing it.”

Felix said he told the man it wasn’t right for him to take photos of a pool busy with kids.

“I got really upset, and I didn’t want to get arrested, so I kind of walked away,” Felix said. “And then he drove off.”

Related Topics: POLICE
What to read next
“It’s clear that monkeypox has come to Minnesota,” said state Epidemiologist Dr. Ruth Lynfield. “While our current cases are associated with travel outside Minnesota, we expect we will soon see cases among people who have no travel history or contact with someone who did, indicating that spread within social networks in Minnesota is occurring.”
Your body adjusts to hot weather slowly. So when heat waves hit, you need to know how to hydrate and stay cool to avoid heat-related illness. This is especially true for babies and older adults. In this episode of NewsMD's "Health Fusion," Viv Williams gets tips from an emergency medicine doctor about how to stay healthy in extreme heat.
Use of a two-drug combination now make up over half of all abortions in the United States, according to the Guttmacher Institute, an abortion research organization. About 350,000 Google searches using those terms or "abortion pill" were conducted during the week of May 1 to 8, according to the authors of the new research letter. That first week in May is when the Supreme Court's decision that would overturn Roe v. Wade was leaked and widely reported.
When information suggesting that he U.S. Supreme Court may overturn Roe v. Wade leaked in May, internet searches about abortion drugs surged to an all-time high. In this episode of NewsMD's "Health Fusion," Viv Williams checks out a study that explored the issue and shares what the researchers say people and healthcare providers should know.