David M. Barden

A Sedalia man was arrested for performing a sexual act in Clover Dell Park early Thursday afternoon. 

David M. Barden, 54, of the 1200 block of Elm Hills Boulevard, has been charged with misdemeanor first-degree sexual misconduct. Barden is being held at the Pettis County Jail on a $1,500 bond and an order to not enter any public park. 

According to a probable cause statement, a Sedalia Police Department officer was dispatched to Clover Dell Park for a report of a naked subject in a van. The complainant later reported at the SPD station they went to Clover Dell Park to eat lunch around 11:45 a.m. and parked by the lake facing west by the race track. The complainant said there was a white van parked behind him with the back doors open. A subject in black shorts, later identified as Barden, was sitting in the back of the van.

According to the complainant, allegedly Barden pulled down his shorts and laid down on the seats. Barden proceeded to perform a sexual act on himself and at one point stood up naked facing the complainant. The complainant said he saw Barden’s genital area before Barden got back into the van and continued the sexual act. 

The complainant grabbed his phone to take a picture as proof when he noticed a Sedalia Parks and Recreation Department vehicle driving by. He spoke with the driver and during that time Barden left the park. The complainant said Barden’s vehicle has an “In God we trust decal” on the side window. 

An officer was dispatched to the scene but was unable to locate the suspect. Dispatch ran the plate which came back to a van that belonged to Barden. It was also discovered that Barden had a Pettis County warrant. The Pettis County Sheriff’s Office was contacted and a deputy went to Barden’s residence and placed him under arrest. 

Sedalia police later interviewed Barden at the Pettis County Jail. Barden said he had not left his residence all day. He said one of his vehicles was the van that matched the plates given at the park and that it did have an “In God we trust” decal on it. When asked who had his van at Clover Dell Park that day, Barden answered that it must have been stolen. Barden continued to deny having been in the park that day. 

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