A 70-year-old retired high-school teacher found himself at the center of a s***storm over whether protected political speech includes defecating on your neighbors’ lawn.
Jerry Detrick of Greenville, Ohio, was caught squatting near a hedge while his neighbor was taking his dog for a walk around 3:15 a.m. on May 30.
Detrick claimed it was a political statement in protest of the neighbors’ support for Joe Biden, and not because the couple next door was gay.
“Let me say that I didn’t know you were gay, I did know you were a democrat,” Detrick wrote in a court-mandated apology letter.
“I am a Republican,” he continued. “Doesn’t make any difference, my actions were disgusting and cruel.”
However, his neighbor, Matthew Guyette, 59, claimed that Detrick had been uninvitedly fertilizing the lawn for the past decade.
Guyette posted on Facebook that police had finally caught “the man who’s been sh*tting in our front yard for the past ten years,” reported LGBT magazine Metro Weekly.
In addition to the scat, Detrick would leave “3 or 4 crumpled up restaurant napkins he used to clean himself,” making it clear that this was no act of nature.
“That was my clue that I had had a ‘visitor,’” Guyette wrote. “Because it was on the edge of the front yard in the bushes and undergrowth we often wouldn’t see it except for those napkins.”
After entering a no-contest plea for littering, Detrick was sentenced in municipal court to 20 days in jail, to be served at the court’s discretion, according to the Smoking Gun.
He also was given a year’s probation, ordered to perform 30 hours of community service, required to pay fines and court costs totaling $232, and barred from contacting Guyette or going near the home.
In his apology letter, Detrick appeared to express heartfelt contrition for his “inexcusable” actions, noting the disappointment of his family.
“This will always be a stain on my reputation in a community I was born and raised in,” he wrote.