Deputies: Substitute teacher left feces at park before principal's daughter's party
SARASOTA, Fla. (FOX 13) - A substitute teacher in Sarasota County is facing multiple charges after deputies say she spread fecal matter around a park where the principal of her school was supposed to hold a birthday party for her daughter.
Deputies say Heather Carpenter, a substitute teacher at Phillippi shores Elementary School, was seen placing human waste and fecal matter on the wooden tables and grills under the pavilion at Urfer Park on December 1 around 6:30 in the morning.
Deputies say the birthday party had to be canceled because of the incident.
Mike Hutchinson was at the park in the early morning hours of the day in question, he says he saw the foul crime being committed.
"When I realized what she did, I was shocked and appalled," he said.
Hutchinson says Carpenter was wearing a surgical mask and blue rubber gloves. He says she took off as soon as she realized she was caught.
“When I walked back over here to see what was going on the smell hit me and I noticed that she did it to every table. Wiped it on every table, it was on the ground, yeah, it was a mixture of urine and feces and she had it in a big cup and was just pouring it out and wiping it in.”
The investigating deputy learned that the principal of Phillippi Shores Elementary School was the birthday party organizer, and found that she had invited all the children in her child's class, which included the child of Carpenter, a teacher she was having a dispute with the week before the party.
Deputies say Carpenter and her van matched the description of the suspect from witnesses. Deputies say Carpenter later admitted to intentionally placing the waste at the park with the intent of disrupting the party.
She told deputies she was displeased with how the principal was handling their dispute.
The cost of replacing the tables was $1,400, and the cost of replacing the grills was $650 plus $150 in labor and overtime to pay the staff along, with other charges. Overall, the incident cost the county $2,310.
Carpenter faces felony criminal mischief and property damage charges.