Showing the lengths some people will go to in order to avoid cleaning up after their dogs, a Southampton man was taken into custody on Friday after it was determined that he was faking being visually disabled and pretending that his dog was a service animal.
“The suspect is well known in the neighborhood,” Hamptons Police spokesman Larry Hirsch says. “He wears dark glasses and his dog precedes him wherever he goes. He never cleans up after the dog, but we always gave him a pass because we thought he couldn’t see. But it turns out he’s not actually blind.”
The discovery of the suspect’s fraud came when he made the mistake of looking at his smart phone on a recent walk. Not smart. The suspect remains in custody.
Not cleaning up after dogs is a serious crime in the Hamptons, as seen by the sheer volume of dog excrement still being removed from area beaches. Since the feces removal began in 2016, well over $1 million has been sunk into the project. Started in December 2016, the ongoing effort was expected to be complete by summer 2017, but the initial 10 tons of dog poop discovered beneath South Fork sands has multiplied and crews dig deeper.
“Just beneath the sand on beaches from Westhampton to Montauk, the Hamptons Sanitation Commission and Hamptons Municipal Board teams have found a sedimentary crust comprising some 32 tons of dog turd,” project manager Bruce Wolffe Johansson explains. “Some of this layer is quite hard, physically, and difficult to penetrate.”
It doesn’t help, of course, when people like the fake blind man continue adding to the problem. The errant turds lead to polluted water and many other problems.
“He’s hardly the only person leaving poop on the beaches,” Johansson says. “It boggles the mind why these people wouldn’t just use the plastic bags we provide in dispensers at the entrance to every major beach in the Hamptons.”