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The Boston Herald
The mother of a Haverhill man arrested for doing yoga poses naked at a New Hampshire gym said her son has had problems for years and Sunday's incident was a "cry for help."
Eric Stagno, 34, cited the Planet Fitness's slogan, "judgment-free zone," when he was arrested and charged with indecent exposure/lewdness and disorderly conduct. He walked into the Plaistow gym, stripped down at the door and settled into his yoga mat, where officers found him on his knees in a prayer-like position, according to police Capt. Brett Morgan.
"I was totally out of my mind," Denise Kerrigan said of the incident. "Never did I think he was going to do something like that. I'm glad the police caught him because he needs to get help. ... He has severe problems."
Kerrigan, 63, of Haverhill said her son has suffered from mental health issues since he was very young and has sought treatment from therapists and psychologists over the years.
Gymgoers who witnessed the seemingly unperturbed nude man doing yoga told police they felt "uncomfortable," "sick," "disgusted" and "unsafe." Stagno was found with marijuana paraphernalia on him at the time, according to Morgan, but it was unclear if he was under the influence.
Stagno, arrested without incident, was released after paying a bail commissioner fee of $40 on personal recognizance over the weekend. An arraignment date is scheduled for Sept. 21.
He was taken to Haverhill District Court yesterday for violating his probation, which he received just over a month ago for threatening to commit a crime. He was ordered to remain drug and alcohol free with random screenings, and to attend weekly therapy sessions until his probation ends Dec. 31.
Though his mother knew about the weekly therapy sessions, she didn't hear about the threadbare yoga from her son.
"I found out on the 6 o'clock news," Kerrigan said.
Kerrigan said pictures of her son have been circulating on the web since the incident.
"What people did was cruel. ... People were taking pictures of him and laughing at him - real compassionate people. But what goes around comes around. I believe in karma," she said.
Kerrigan said she hopes to get him treatment at a hospital.
"My son is very shy," Kerrigan said. "It's a cry for help."
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