Crime

Florida woman spread human waste over park tables, grill after dispute, cops say

Heather Carpenter, 42, of Sarasota, was charged with criminal mischief over $1,000.
Heather Carpenter, 42, of Sarasota, was charged with criminal mischief over $1,000. Sarasota County Sheriff's Office

Several pieces of park equipment had to be replaced and a child’s birthday party was disrupted after a woman spread human waste across tables and grills at a Sarasota County park, according to the Sarasota County Sheriff’s Office.

A witness told investigators they saw a woman wearing a blue mask and gloves putting human waste and fecal matter on the wooden tables and grills under a pavilion at Urfer Park around 6:30 a.m. on Dec. 1, 2018, according to the probable cause affidavit.

The witness reported the incident to Sarasota County government representatives, who called the sheriff’s office.

Investigators learned a child’s birthday party and another event were planned for the morning of Dec. 1 at the park’s pavilion. They spoke with the organizer of the birthday party — a Sarasota County Schools administrator, according to the affidavit.

The administrator said she invited the children in her child’s class to the party. That included a child whose mother was a substitute teacher that the administrator had a dispute with the week before, the affidavit stated. The dispute was over a professional complaint and the substitute, Heather Carpenter, was “not pleased with how the situation was handled,” the administrator told detectives.

According to the affidavit, Carpenter, 42, admitted she put the waste and fecal matter on the tables when investigators spoke to her at her home Dec. 7. She said she wanted to disrupt the birthday party because she was displeased with how the administrator handled the complaint.

Carpenter and the vehicle she drives fit the descriptions provided by the witness, according to the affidavit.

In total, the incident cost Sarasota County government $2,310, according to the sheriff’s office. That included replacing seven porous wooden tables, costing the county $1,400. Two grills were also replaced so food would not be cooked over fecal matter, costing $650. Staff were paid to clean the pavilion for a cost of $150.

Carpenter was charged with criminal mischief over $1,000.

Carpenter was arrested on Dec. 7, 2018. She was released the next day on a $2,500 bond.

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