Cops Say Naked Man in Planet Fitness Defends Himself with Gym Motto: It's 'Judgment-Free Zone'

Police say a New Hampshire man walked into a busy Planet Fitness in Plaistow, then allegedly stripped off his clothes and began exercising in the nude

Eric Stagno Credit: Plaistow Police Department
Photo: Plaistow Police Department

Police say a New Hampshire man walked into a busy local gym last weekend, allegedly stripped off his clothes and began exercising while naked, leading to his arrest on charges of indecent exposure, lewdness and disorderly conduct, according to multiple news outlets.

When authorities arrived to the Planet Fitness in Plaistow, 34-year-old Eric Stagno made only one comment: “He thought it was a ‘judgment-free zone,’ apparently referencing [the Planet Fitness] slogan,” police Capt. Brett Morgan said, according to the New Hampshire Union Leader.

But as Morgan noted: “It’s not a clothing-free zone.”

Officers were called to the scene about 1:30 p.m. Sunday after Stagno, of Haverhill, entered the bustling Planet Fitness, allegedly took off all of his clothing at the front desk and walked around a few times before choosing a yoga mat, where he began to exercise, reports the Boston Globe.

Stagno also spent some time inspecting himself in one of the gym’s mirrors, according to the Globe. Responding police located him on a mat in a “yoga-type pose,” the Union Leader reports.

“He walked over to where people stretch, and people were getting away from him and everything like he had the plague,” one witness said, according to local TV station WFXT.

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Capt. Morgan told the Globe some other gym patrons said Stagno’s alleged actions left them feeling “uncomfortable, disgusted, sick and unsafe.”

Stagno had “some drug paraphernalia in his possession” at the time, Morgan alleged, but it was unclear if he was intoxicated and he declined medical treatment beyond an evaluation by first responders. (Police did not immediately return a call for comment.)

He was reportedly released after posting $1,000 bail.

PEOPLE was unable to reach him directly on Tuesday and it was unclear if he has pleaded to the charges filed against him or if he has retained legal counsel.

He is scheduled to appear in court next on Sept. 21.

A spokesperson for Planet Fitness did not immediately return a request for comment.

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