An Olmsted Falls man remembered to flush; the problem, according to members of the Environmental Task Force, is that he did it all over the Municipal Parking Lot.
David Hinzman, 46, is accused of dumping his entire RV septic tank onto the pavement during October’s Browns vs Steelers game.
FOX 8 I-Team reporter Lorrie Taylor confronted the RV owner with questions as he entered Cleveland's Municipal Court Wednesday morning.
"Dave, can you at least tell us why would you dump your toilet tank all over the muni lot when you could have dumped it legally?"
“No comment,” he responded. “Leave me alone.”
Cleveland Police detectives, assigned to the Task Force, came armed with pictures they said proved Hinzman had dumped human waste from his septic tank onto the pavement. A court document indicated the waste made its way into the Municipal Lot’s storm sewers, which drain directly into Lake Erie.
One of the photographs allegedly taken the day of the October 12 game showed, what one detective described, as a room-sized stain flowing from the RV. The stain was covered in used toilet tissue.
"Is it fair that your fellow tailgaters are barbequing their hotdogs and hamburgers while walking through your human waste?" asked Taylor.
"Get that camera out of my face," responded Hinzman.
"Do you have anything to say to your fellow tailgaters whose lot you polluted?" she asked.
"Nothing at all,” said the Olmsted Falls man.
It was last season when Taylor exposed the common tailgating practice of pouring porta-potty buckets directly into the muni lot's storm sewers. A map provided by the North East Ohio Sewer District showed how those pipes emptied directly into Lake Erie.
Cleveland's Director of Public Works vowed to crack down on the use of private toilets in the muni lot after viewing the I-Team’s undercover video.
Typically citations are issued to anyone refusing to party by the rules; but Detective Andy Ezzo from the Environmental Crimes Task Force said Hinzman was summoned directly to court, because the amount of waste he allegedly drained from his RV was beyond the scope of a simple ticket.
The 46-year-old entered a plea of not guilty at an earlier arraignment.
"Do you realize you're facing a year in jail and a $25,000 fine?" asked Taylor.
Hinzman had nothing to say, other than, "Excuse me."
"Any regrets at this stage?" she finally asked.
"Yeah, that you're aggravating me right now. You don't know what you're talking about so just excuse me, please."
Hinzman is charged with one count of Water Pollution and Sludge Management Violations Prohibited.