Four Annapolis men looking for a little action on West Street found more excitement than they expected around midnight Monday.
In a continuing crackdown on prostitution in Maryland's capital, city policearrested all four on solicitation charges.
During the two-hour sting, which began at 11 p.m. Monday and ended shortly after 1 a.m. yesterday, a police officer posing as a prostitute stood in the 200 block of West Street and waited for men to proposition her. Four backup officers made the arrests.
"We want to make it hard for the girls to ply their wares and make it embarrassing for the men soliciting them," said Officer Dermott Hickey, city police spokesman.
Police identified the men as Paul B. Skolaski, 39, ofthe 300 block of Carriage Run Road; Geoffrey Miles, 27, of the 200 block of Harbour Gates Drive; Richard D. Smith, 31, of the 6200 block of Solomons Island Road; and Jamal A. McGowan, 23, of the 7300 block of Edgewood Road.
The sting was the third in recent months. Policehave stepped up patrols to combat an increase in prostitution on West Street after area businesses and residents complained their quiet community was being disturbed.
In mid-January, police arrested and charged five women on West Street with prostitution. Two weeks later,undercover police posing as streetwalkers and prospective clients arrested another woman on prostitution charges and three men on solicitation charges.
A neighborhood association is seeking a grant to install an 8-foot high fence behind West Street to keep out trespassers. Meanwhile, in an attempt to deter crime in the area, Baltimore Gas and Electric Co. has agreed to increase the street lighting.
Hickey said he believes the Police Department is making progress because no prostitutes were seen on the street Monday night. But, he noted, "there were plenty of johns looking for them."