Naked man no longer in Ashland

Ashland's self-proclaimed naked man said he didn't mean to enter a school zone when children were present last month, but he isn't sorry he strolled around in the buff in other parts of the city.

Tony Cooper, who is 66 — not in his 70s as police previously said — left Ashland about three weeks ago after spending about the same amount of time visiting the city, he said.

Cooper, a retired computer programmer, was not breaking laws by wearing only tennis shoes, police have said. However, his actions upset many locals, leading some to call for a ban on public nudity in the city.

Oregon does not outlaw nudity, but the city requires people to cover their genitals in the downtown area and in public parks.

Some parents and other community members were especially concerned after Cooper was spotted near Walker Elementary School on May 29 as children were walking home from school.

Cooper, who said he has been a nudist for decades, said he didn't realize he was near a school and didn't intend for children to see him.

Still, Cooper thinks locals overreacted when they found out some children had seen him naked, because he's "not a pervert," he said.

— Ashland Daily Tidings

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