CLEVELAND- A Browns tailgater is in serious trouble for allegedly polluting Cleveland’s muni lot on a scale never seen before.
"We don't want to see this dumping in our city," said Detective Andy Ezzo from the Environmental Crimes Task Force.
Ezzo said 46-year-old David Hinzman from Olmsted Falls was seen dumping the entire contents of his RV toilet tank in the muni lot on October 12th, when the Browns played the Pittsburgh Steelers.
"You could see there was a lot of toilet paper, so there was toilet paper and waste in the photos and it was a very large area, probably close to the size of this room," the detective told I-Team Investigator Lorrie Taylor.
It was last season when Taylor exposed the tailgating practice of pouring human waste from personal porta-pots directly into the muni lot's storm sewers. According to the North East Ohio Sewer District, those pipes empty directly into Lake Erie.
After viewing the I-Team's undercover video in 2013, Cleveland's Director of Public Works vowed to crack down on the use of personal toilets in the city lot.
Anyone failing to comply was issued a citation. Detective Ezzo said Hinzman disregarded the law and committed an act of pollution so outrageous, he wasn’t eligible for a simple citation. Instead, he was summoned to appear in court.
"This is the City of Cleveland. This gentleman lives in another city that's not Cleveland and I'm sure this gentleman wouldn't do this at his house," said Ezzo.
Taylor paid a visit to the Schady Road address listed for Hinzman in court records.
The tailgater did not appear to be at home and neither was his RV. His first court appearance was Monday morning; he entered a plea of not guilty to one count of Water Pollution and Sludge Management Violations.
"The sewers go directly to the lake, so because of that, it's a higher crime and it's basically polluting the waters of the state," said the detective.
If found guilty, Hinzman faces the possibility of one year in jail and a $25,000 fine.