Pinellas County

St. Pete police investigate human waste smeared on elderly man's door

ST. PETERSBURG, Fla (WFLA) - After nearly 30 years as president of the homeowners association at the Chalet on the Lake Condominium Association in St. Petersburg, 87-year old Ed Freeh didn't think he had any enemies.

Now, he knows he has one.

Sometime on Tuesday night, someone smeared human waste all over his front door. 

This wasn't a splash of feces here and there; the door was coated. 

Freeh's daughter, Laura Rainey, lives in the complex and was in tears when she saw it.  

"And, I couldn't believe it. It was like a horror movie where we saw the door and all the feces, I was just totally shocked," said Rainey. "And it brought tears to my eyes. And my dad's one of the nicest guys ever. He'd do anything for you. "

Freeh was awakened last night by his daughter. 

"And my daughter, she lives upstairs, she comes running down the back door and she says, 'you better get out of here,'" said Freeh. "Because of what happened... you know?"

Freeh and his daughter have a pretty good idea who is behind the stunt. 

A former neighbor who recently moved out of the complex has caused trouble there before. 

They gave police a name and all of the man's information, but so far no one has been confronted about the deed.

St. Petersburg police investigate disputes between neighbors from time to time. Officer Timothy McClintock says normally the issues are pretty simple. 

"Normal is, 'my neighbor's tree is growing into my yard.  My neighbor is playing his music too loud,'" said McClintock, who investigated one case similar to this one some time ago. "This is not normal. This has gone to the extreme. "

Unfortunately for Freeh, police can do little about his complaint. Even if he's sure he knows who's responsible for what happened to his front door, even if he's witnessed this individual doing things to others in the past, McClintock says there has to be more evidence.  

"People tell us all the time, 'well, I know this person did it. I know 100 percent they did it.' Without solid proof, it is very difficult to proceed with a criminal case."

Police have a bit of advice for people having problems with a neighbor. Ask other neighbors to watch over your property when you're not there and report any illegal activity. They believe an alert neighbor is sometimes the best witness.

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