IT'S THE FIRST day of the first summer weekend of the rest of our lives.

Which means it's time to take a break from the trauma that has engulfed our town for the past few weeks and ponder something less weighty - like what can happen when you have sex in the woods.

Make that, when you have sex in the woods in suburban Harrisburg after you've - obviously - had too much to drink.

A Pinnacle Airlines pilot and flight attendant who did just that wound up getting separated from each other after he'd been separated from his clothing.

And while he wandered in the woods, lost - provoking a flurry of 9-1-1 calls about a naked man - she rummaged through a vehicle, looking for a flashlight to find him.

The amorous adventure climaxed in a police search involving a State Police helicopter and a couple of dozen officers from surrounding municipalities.

The man and woman, both single and 24, were arrested on multiple charges, thrown in jail for the night and arraigned on Monday morning. They were also suspended from their jobs.

Imagine that. In Philly, they'd have been applauded for comic relief.

"You feel bad for them personally," Lower Swatara Township Police Chief Richard Wiley told me yesterday, stating the obvious: They made "a couple of bad choices."

Now the police department is being hounded with media calls and e-mails from people - like me - who don't think the errant lovers should be prosecuted.

"Everybody keeps calling from different newspapers and TV programs, and we're getting e-mails that we're bad police officers because we arrested


"It's unbelievable."

Frankly, if I were the judge, I'd have issued a simple order:

Get a room!

But the couple apparently already had one.

As described by Chief Wiley and the Harrisburg Patriot-News:

Jeffrey Paul Bradford and Adrianna Grace Connor were eating at a diner near Harrisburg International Airport Sunday evening when they were seduced by the idea of outdoor erotics.

They were apparently staying at a nearby hotel and scheduled to fly out Monday morning.

The couple walked up the road to some dense woods nearby. But something went awry and they got separated.

Connor found an unlocked SUV in a driveway of a house adjacent to the woods and got in to search for a flashlight.

She apparently overlooked the logo on the van: Lower Swatara Fire Department. Because it was the home of Fire Chief Robert Furlong, who called police when he saw her in the vehicle.

Connor explained the situation and the search began.

But Bradford wasn't found until a while later, when he approached a woman who'd just come home from work and asked her for a pair of shorts.

He was wearing flip-flops and a watch.

She called the cops.

By then, the State Police helicopter had been deployed, along with fire department infrared searchlights, and lots of police officers.

Too much to-do to just laugh it off, Chief Wiley said.

"The officers decided to charge based on the totality of the circumstances, after we exhausted all this manpower and had to jump through hurdles," Wiley said.

"The complainant was infuriated. Other people were infuriated. Once that occurred, what are we going to do, not charge them? Our hands are sort of tied."

Bradford was charged with indecent exposure, open lewdness, public drunkenness, loitering and prowling at night, and disorderly conduct.

Connor was charged with theft from a motor vehicle, public drunkenness, and loitering and prowling at night.

All for a night of love alfresco.

But Dauphin County District Attorney Ed Marsico hopes the case will be swiftly resolved.

"We're going to review the matter with the police department and determine what charges, if any, we believe are appropriate," he told me yesterday.

"Obviously this isn't a major criminal matter and hopefully it's something we can resolve at the preliminary hearing."

I sure hope so.

I couldn't find a phone number for Connor, who lives in Belleville, Mich. - nor for Bradford, a pilot for 3 1/2 years.

Bradford lives near Pittsburgh in, appropriately enough . . . Moon Township.

Happy Memorial Day weekend. *

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