Note: Story updated below, with further detail.
A man suspected of pooping on the sidewalks and driveways of several homes in and around the intersection of Byrne St. and Helen in the Woodland Heights has been apprehended and taken into custody, a Houston Police Department spokesperson tells the Leader. The story of the Woodland Heights excrement attacks clogged up the internet last week, with stories of the repeated front-yard exploits reaching international and local news outlets around the globe — but only after a repeat victim went to teevee reporter Jennifer Bauer with surveillance footage from a camera hidden in a tree near her home. The captured images (above) of the man dubbed a “serial defecator” in various follow-on news reports appeared to show the perpetrator in the act.
Perhaps the most astounding aspect of the arrest: The public-pooping suspect was apprehended after he was found urinating — on a wall at the Fiesta Mart at Quitman and Fulton, according to the Leader report: “Police arrested the man, who appeared to be the same man as the one from Woodland Heights’ resident’s surveillance video, and charged him with public urination.“
The alleged perpetrator’s clever switch of M.O. — changing from defecation to urination, and targeting a grocery store in the Near Northside, across I-45 from the homes of the Woodland Heights — wasn’t enough to throw investigators off the scent. Unless, of course, police have apprehended the wrong man.
Update, 12:45 am: The Harris County Precinct One constable’s office website now provides a bit of detail on the booking, which took place on Saturday, and credits “the residents who called with information that ultimately led to the suspect’s arrest.” It also names the suspect. Separately, Craig Hlavaty reports that the constable’s office “will not file charges on the man, due to his mental health issues. The man is no longer in police custody, according to [Sgt. J.C.] Mosier.”
He admitted to that he was the one doing the defecating, from what I have been told,” Mosier said Tuesday. Mosier says that the Hispanic male, 53, has mental health issues. The man told officials that he will not be defecating in yards again.
- HPD: Woodland Heights serial defecator has been caught [The Leader]
- Previously on Swamplot: Has This Man Been Pooping in Your Yard? Or Only on Byrne St. in Woodland Heights?
Images: Click2Houston (pooper); LoopNet (Fiesta)