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ODD-FirefighterArres 3rdLd-Writethru 04-05

6. Ohio

Man in bikini charged

A man wearing a woman’s wig and a string bikini was charged with taking a drunken afternoon romp through a park, officials said.

Steven S. Cole, a 46-year-old volunteer firefighter, told an officer he was on his way to a Dayton bar to perform as a woman in a contest offering a $10,000 prize, the arrest report said.

He pleaded not guilty Thursday to charges of drunken driving, public indecency and disorderly conduct.

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Cole was arrested Tuesday after police received a report that an intoxicated man was walking and driving around Heritage Oak Park in Mason.

Police said Cole was wearing a blond wig, pink flip-flops and a red-black-and-white striped bikini with the top filled out by tan water balloons. The National Weather Service said it was around 60 degrees in the Mason area about the time he was arrested.

Cole’s blood-alcohol test registered 0.174, more than twice Ohio’s legal driving limit of 0.08, the arrest report said.

"He is obviously humiliated and embarrassed by the entire situation," said Cole’s lawyer, Charlie Rittgers, who added that he is investigating the circumstances that led to the arrest.

Cole did not return a call seeking comment. He remained free on his own recognizance until trial, set for May 24.

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