Tahlequah Daily Press

June 25, 2013

Pair picked up at Cherokee Landing State Park

Staff Writer

TAHLEQUAH — A Tahlequah couple was booked into the Cherokee County Detention Center Saturday night after visitors at Cherokee Landing State Park reported inappropriate conduct in the presence of children.

Witnesses said a man was acting inappropriately to a woman who was passed out in a chair near the lake’s shore line. When Deputy Jarrick Snyder arrived, the woman – Valerie Hawley, 43, of Tahlequah – was still asleep in the chair and would not wake up.

Justin Johnson, 51, of Park Hill, was in the lake’s water nearby and told deputies Hawley was his girlfriend. He later spoke with Snyder and denied anything inappropriate had happened.

Hawley was eventually awakened, and the two told deputies they were camping out of their car.

Both allegedly smelled of alcohol and were unsteady on their feet.

Park rangers decided to have the two removed from the park, so Snyder and Deputy Lonnie Bowlin arrested Johnson and Hawley for public intoxication.