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Psychiatric evaluation for bikini-clad fireman

A volunteer firefighter from Waynesville, Ohio, faces charges after a parent complained about seeing him wearing a blond wig and a string bikini in a city park.

Steven S. Cole, 46, told police he was en route to a gay bar in Dayton "to perform as a woman for a $10,000 prize," the Cincinnati Enquirer reported.

He pleaded not guilty Thursday in Mason Municipal Court on misdemeanour charges of drunken driving, having an open container, public indecency and disorderly conduct, Mason police told

The court ordered Cole to undergo psychiatric evaluation and banned him from public parks in the area.

His attorney, Charlie Rittgers, said Cole is married with three children and has no criminal history.

"There are a lot of people who are cross-dressers that are not a danger to anybody in society," TV station WCPO quoted Rittgers as saying.

"What's strange and what's caught the attention of the media is that he was dressed the way he was dressed, which was a little bit strange for Heritage Park in Mason, Ohio."

Cole was arrested Tuesday after a local father enjoying the balmy weather at the park with his family spotted what he termed "this freak show" and called police.

"I was a little taken by surprise by what I'd seen there," Troy Harphant, 35, told the Enquirer. "It was out of place with what should have been going on over there, that's for sure."

Harphant claims he saw the bikini-clad person fondling or exposing himself. The person hopped into a parked pickup with red emergency lights on top; he followed the truck out of the park and called police on his cell phone. He realized the person's gender as he got closer.

"There's a man out here dressed up in a wig and women's two-piece bikini freaking people out in the park," he told a 911 dispatcher. "It's inappropriate and I'd like somebody to come check this guy out. The guy is actually trying to leave the park now."

Mason police Officer Scott Miller pulled the truck over. His report states: "I observed Cole to be wearing a very skimpy woman's . . . bikini . . . and a pair of pink Speedo flip-flop sandals."

A pair of tan water balloons provided the embonpoint.

Police said they found an open 40-ounce bottle of beer in Cole's truck and that his blood-alcohol test registered 0.174, more than twice Ohio's legal limit.

Officials in Wayne Township, where Cole has been a volunteer firefighter since August 2000, said he would be placed on administrative leave while the case continues.

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