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UPDATED With Jail Pictures: 3 men arrested after “sex offense” at Mason City YMCA

MASON CITY – Three individuals were arrested and booked after a “sex offense” incident at the Mason City YMCA, 1840 South Monroe Avenue, at about 9 AM Wednesday morning.

Those arrested were: Douglas Howard Petersen, 67; Dennis Clarence Vrba, 68; and David Vaughn Escher, 55.

The three men involved were booked into the Cerro Gordo County Jail.

Mason City police confirmed Thursday morning that all three men were arrested and charged with indecent exposure, a serious misdemeanor.

Escher, David Vaughn 10-06-1956

Petersen, Douglas Howard 03-03-1945

Vrba, Dennis Clarence 11-29-1943

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IH Yas it

Legislation! We need legislation! Block everything until we get legislation!

It came into my mind, perhaps these men only were Europeans? We get naked here in locker rooms and saunas, expose for sure.

Poor guys, I do not understand how they pictures could be published and their addresses too. This is really cruel and harsh. They have had a very hard punishment already, it is like American torture in Guantanamo. I am happy to be European after reading the article.

Man, these guys really stepped in it! What were they thinking? They’re ruined marriages, friendships, reputations, maybe businesses. You might say “They really blew it!”

Sad for wives & families !!

Ice cream jumping jack guy out riding his V.I.P. scooter yesterday. Does that V.I.P. stand for “VERY IGNORANT PERVERT” ?

Aha – I knew it! Jumping jacks is a gateway activity that leads to more serious sexual activity. Just look at what has happened to Dave. So my concern is that we teach kids calisthetics, including jumping jacks. Are we leading them to criminal sex acts?! We need to outlaw them!

Typical Republicans !!!!

Remember this is Iowa where gays come here to marry. In this day and age it wouldn’t surprise me they’ll soon be building locker rooms strictly for homosexuals.

in the hood we just do it in the streets instead of in steam rooms

I am sure the North End of Mason City would be glad to welcome you.

Hi Brea…you said “Why then, if it is such common knowledge, is it that it hasn’t been reported until now?”

Uh, didn’t I ask YOU that question and you just sorta turned right around and asked me the same thing??? According to the two posts you’ll see below, it WAS common knowledge. Of course, we don’t have any proof of that, JUST the same as we don’t have any proof that it WASN’T. So again I ask the question. Maybe you don’t know. Maybe you are just denying it. Not sure. But it sure sounds like a lot of people knew about it and just sort of “shrugged it off”. I guess the bottom line here is this, if you don’t want people to make judgements and acusations, then don’t do stupid things like this in PUBLIC. I would have thought that given their age and business status in the community, this would be as they say a “no brainer”. It seems the only obvious “no brainer” are these three champions. Silly me.

The posts below that you are calling a liar…..

Jumpin Jack FlashReply

August 3, 2012 at 3:22 pm

Several people reported seeing one of them doing naked jumping jacks in front of people making them uncomfortable. I first heard that many years ago. Does anyone think that is normal? Do you guys defending him think that is okay because you might want to do some soul searching yourself.

It’s Fun To Stay At The…Reply

August 3, 2012 at 4:13 pm

I worked at the YMCA for many years—I’m not writing this to trash the Y because I always enjoyed working there, enjoyed using the facility to work out and worked with many great people.

I am female so I’ve never been in the men’s locker room (during regular hours), but know that Dave Escher works out in the steam room and yes he does jumping jacks naked (this is common knowledge around the Y). It is a rule at the Y that you cannot workout in the steam room, however Dave has worked out in the steam room for years and nobody has done anything about it.

Someone should have but the kibosh on this years ago and maybe this wouldn’t have happened.

Dave has always done the excerise thing in the steam room. I have witnessed for all of 25 years. It wasn’t a sexual thing just a stupid thing. It ticked many of us just tring to relax but we know what a piss head he is, no biggie.

Management at the Y….Not the best since I have been a member, which is well over 30 years. The truth be known the old Y has this place beat big time but it is what it is. From what I have heard our current person running the Y is gay herself…

Why does her sexual orientation matter. Who cares.

As in the real answer. I guess I also wonder why the people that went to the Y never told this guy to stop his behavior and as a group not talk to him and let him know he was being weird. Or did he only do it around one person at a time so it just made the person uncomfortable?

Dave asked a good question. Wonder what the answer is.

these guys r weird

Hi Brea. It appears you may have overlooked one important FACT in your rant of a rebuttal….

If all that you say is true about the management of the facility…oh yes…I DARE, then why may I ask why was Dave’s behavior at the Y overlooked for so many years? It was very common knowledge. So again…where was all this wonderful management practice and rule enforcement for all that time? Can you enlighten all of us on that?

Previous post:

“Bath houses, saunas, and steam rooms have known to be a place where queers congregate and hook up. This has been common knowledge for years. Makes sense this would happen at the Y!”

I am glad this is out in the open so people can realize just how nuts this kind of behaviour is.

Society was better off when the homo’s were in the closet!

The fact that it may have been “common knowledge” is, in fact false. It was never reported to the front desk, or had, in any sense been notified to authorities, until now in any way, shape or form. Otherwise, I can assure you that the staff, like myself, would have done something about it. That is certain. Why then, if it is such common knowledge, is it that it hasn’t been reported until now? Can you enlighten me on THAT?

To “Please go back in the closet,” Society was better off when “homos” were in the closet, eh? Humm, sounds like someone doesn’t understand the concept of Society itself. Times are changing. Move on with it. They are not personally harming you. By bringing this into the argument, you are attacking people that you have never even met. I know several gay/bisexual individuals and they are spectacular beings. This is not to say that these three people in question are necessarily “gay” or “homosexual.”

To Anonymous, my judgement is justified and unclouded. I certainly have a right to be outraged by theses claims seeing as both of my past employers have been unjustly ridiculed. You have not worked in these conditions and therefore have no leave to tell the so called “facts” which, of course, are not true. Also, if you “DARE” I will not do anything about it, but state the facts.

Brea, I really admire you. You have shown courage, backbone, compassion, and an understanding beyond your years. The only problem is that you are trying to reason with people on this site that are none of the above. They are small-minded, hateful, and have nothing better to do than feed off this story.

These men showed incredibly bad judgement. What they’ve done, whatever it was, was wrong, with no doubt. No one is defending them. However, they are not a danger to our community and are not criminals. This hateful venom that is being spewed on this site is disgusting. It’s very easy for people to be hateful under the guise of anonymity. This is a very sad story for many reasons.

I commend you for speaking your opinion and defending your employers. I also agree that sexual orientation does not dictate character. However, how many times were you in the men’s locker room? AND… are you close enough to management level that all concerns/complaints might be shared with you? You may be overestimating your position to be informed.

Don’t you “DARE”… all cap’s ??? Exactly what will be your response if someone calls your dare? While I agree with sticking up for your beliefs you seem to have written your post in anger which may have clouded your sensibility. There are a few flaws within the establishments where you have been employed. You seem to be a loyal employee, which will suit you in the future, but so will questioning establishments from within. There are some rotten eggs here… very few probably know all the details, but something is certainly rotten.

I would like to clear up a few things that are absolutely incorrect and outrageous. First of all, I have worked for Dave Escher and Birdsall’s for 4 years. You probably have seen me there. I also have worked for the YMCA for a year also. And I would like to say that some of your comments are ridiculous.

1) Dave is an honest manager and has NEVER had us split our tips with him. EVER.

2) Yes, he may sometimes be a bit harsh with his employees but that is his style of managing. Get over it.

3) The male workers at the Y are some of the most kind and caring individuals I have ever met. They are not “strange” in any sort of manner. You CANNOT judge a book by its cover.

4) I personally know the one who is “running the show” at the Y. I can most certainly tell you that she is running an honest establishment. Don’t you DARE insult her managerial ways.

5) To parents: None of these men have EVER touched your children have they? NO! The Y has your children’s safety and well being as a top priority. I can vouch for that.

6) As an employee, I do get minimum wage. We are NOT paid as waiters. Tips are OPTIONAL and we do not expect them from customers.

7) I have had Mr. Vrba as a substitute teacher many times. He is not a “creepy pedophile” as some of you have portrayed him.

8) MC Resident, you don’t have to work your butt of for a membership. We have scholarships for those who have low income.

9) Yes, there is theft at the YMCA. What you insipid fools fail to realize is that it is YOUR responsibility to lock up your own items! We provide locks for $5. We have a nice sign advertising this statement.

10) As for “no rule enforcement,” that is an absolute lie. Do you have any idea of how many people we have to throw out for disruptive or unacceptable behavior?

11) The YMCA cannot control the members actions. They cannot be accountable. We obviously care, because, if not, there wouldn’t have been a report about it.

I could go all day and nit-pick all of the things that are ludicrous about some of your comments.
Before you all go spouting off speculations and falsely interpreted rumors, you need to get the facts from someone who actually has been through these businesses and knows how things are run.

Thanks for reading and for listening to the truth.

Good for you Brea !

Youth is that light that shines bright and the light we should follow. There is always two sides to any story or person.

Thank you very much for sharing, keep up your good work!


This ad paid for by Damage Control 2012.

As responsible adults we can and should self monitor our comments and not involve advertisers nor the NIT staff. After all, isn’t self regulation and establishing reasonable bountaries really what is at the heart of this sad story. Then lets all do the same with our words.

This “discussion” has gone on long enough – it’s time to end the comments on this part of the story and wait for more information from the police, DA, and the Y. The discussion has reached a point where individuals and institutions are being dragged through the mud for no other reason than public entertainment – no useful purpose is being served.

I will make my feelings known to the advertisers on North Iowa Today and will ask them to stop supporting a website that has crossed the line between journalism and muckraking/libel.


These comments have went on for quite a bit. I am thinking that people are fed up with all the queer crap that is being shoved down our throats.

Like it’s ok. Well, it is not! It belongs back in the closet and this stuff would not be going on at the Y.

Now whose up for some jumping jacks?

We will not miss Dave and his jumping jacks ect in the steam room…I have been a Y member for over the 25 years I have put up with that BS…Dave was always a strange fella

If you have been a member for 25 years and seen this strange fellow jumping naked>> the question then comes in to how many years did u sit idle and not bring it up to anybody>> what did u use the last 20 as entertainment and then jump on the band wagon when somebody finally did something>>>>>my opinion is that your sicker for viewing it without saying anything>>granted jumping jacks naked is actually amassing. place of choice may not be the best>>but u my friend are a classical bandwagon user>> Ill bet the first thing that went through your head was i should have said something before>>>But in all honesty did u>>>sicker than the accused sick…

I am good friends with David and have talked to him multiple times since the incident. I will continue to be friends with him and will not treat him any differently than i did before. this entire comment section is filled with hate from people that don’t know the details; which i do not know either, and do not care to know. All of the comments should be deleted. I do not agree with the decisions made by the people involved but will put it behind me and not judge them.

If you have a problem with this you can meet me at my church this Sunday to talk about it.

–from a 17 year old that seems to have it more figured out than the rest of you.

your a joke and you have some unneeded pride which is one of the seven deadly sins so how about you go to church this sunday and figure yourself out

Thank you for your opinion sir. I’m glad you are able to talk down to people over the internet, I’m sure that impresses the ladies does it not?

When I was 17 I believed in rainbows and unicorns too. And I believed it when old perverts told me “it wasn’t really like that.” When you have kids of your own and you want to take them to the local Family YMCA, I hope these 3 faces pop up in your memory and you will fight to protect your kids against crap like this. Deep in your heart of hearts, you know they are wrong and you have already judged them.

haha its funny because your talking down on everyone who commented, nice try though

Dont you know it is Bush’s fault.

Has anyone seen their faces around town since this all hit the fan? Is the Ice Cream Man still being a pompous ass to his employees or is he enjoying some “Butt Brickle” or “Soft Serve” with his humble pie? Has the holy roller lead his church congregation in prayer since this the charges were filed? I bet we’ll see For Sale signs in yards before too long. When is their court date?

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