Most people possess a natural fear of most reptiles until they are exposed to them for what they really are.
Parading through a park does not attract the proper attention, and as stated above it usually scares people as the animal becomes stressed and performs many negative actions in fear of its life. This just causes the entire chain of fear to continue.. The more irresponsible reptile owners exhist, the more fear will be present. Reptiles aren't for everyone, don't force them to be.