The Mirror

Sh*t Heds: The Media Loves Covering The Akron Poop Bandit

My hometown is getting crapped all over by the Akron poop bandit.

How many people in Washington can claim that source of pride on a Thursday?

As we speak, news of a man pooping in or on 19 cars in the early morning hours is going wildly viral, snaking its way from the Ohio valley northward to Canada and beyond. My mom thinks it’s “disgusting.” Still, it’s safe to say the shit is spreading fast. The shit is hitting the fan. And well, shit happens. (You get the picture?)

Cleveland’s 19 Action News reports that 79-year-old Mildred Crisp is among the victims. “Human poop…it was terrible,” she said. “It’s the most inhuman thing they could do. …Get a bucket of water and clean it all up.”

Thankfully a resident caught Mr. Pooper in the act on Wednesday and snapped a photo.

Asked how this sort of thing happens in the relatively quaint, midwestern town of Akron, Bob Dyer — a columnist for the Akron Beacon Journal who is covering the story — asked in return, “How does this sort of thing happen ANYWHERE?!”

Akron does have a history of oddball crimes. In Dyer’s column, he wrote that in 1919, a “weirdo” was going around Akron putting gum in the braided hair of young girls.

So does a serial pooper in town surprise him? “Yes, it surprised me. Even after living in Akron for 30 years.”

Dyer said the story is easily topping Lebron, a heroin bust and a big brawl, in terms or pure traffic.

“As I was writing it, I was absolutely certain it would become an Internet sensation,” he said. “We have a big electronic board in the newsroom now that shows which stories are being read the most online, how long people are reading each story and where the readers came from (from another Ohio.com story, from Facebook, etc.). Less than five minutes after we posted the pooper, he soared to No. 1 — ahead of LeBron and the red-hot Cavs, ahead of a big heroin bust, ahead of the arrest of some guys involved in a huge brawl. At one point, 311 people were reading it simultaneously. I’m looking at the board right now and it’s STILL in the top spot, with 68 people reading it as we speak.

“It is the most-read story of the WEEK on our site. It was trending yesterday on Facebook.

“Ah, yes. Journalism at its finest.”

When I mentioned curiosity about what precise crime the poop bandit has committed, he replied, “Indecent exposure, vandalism, trespassing, assault with a smelly weapon…” News reports say that if the pooper gets caught, he could get off easy with a misdemeanor of criminal mischief.

The Atlantic staff writer David Graham, meanwhile, is a proud Akron native. He told The Mirror that his Facebook is, er, EXPLODING with poop posts from friends.

“Hahahahaha, yeah, several people sent it to me yesterday, and a bunch of my friends were posting it on Facebook—lots of comments of the ‘Stay classy, Akron!’ variety,” Graham wrote in an email. “In fact, I just opened Facebook on my phone and the first thing I saw was 6 posts about this in a row.”

Graham tried to make sense of it. “You know how when people are looking for [a] random city to include as the butt of the joke, they often choose Akron? It’s, you know, big enough that people know about it, but midwestern enough that they don’t have a strong image of what it’s like,” he said. “So on the one hand, this is not really something you expect anywhere, but on the other hand, I thought, Oh, of course this would happen to Akron.”

Poop jokes abound.
My brother’s coworkers emailed him, saying, “‘We know you have a load on your mind, but is this what you have stooped to?'”

Here’s how news outlets around the world are headlining the story:

Akron Beacon Journal

“Bob Dyer: Akron police seek serial pooper”

Newsnet5

“Akron police are searching for man who pooped on 19 cars.”

New York Daily News

“Ohio serial pooper gets caught on camera defecating on car.”

HuffPost Canada 

“Bowel Movement Bandit: Akron, Ohio Police Seek Man Who Poops On Cars”

Barstool Sports

“Akron Ohio Is On The Hunt For A Diabolical Poo Bandit Who Keeps Shitting On Everyone’s Car”

ABC7 Chicago

“Akron Police Release Photos Of Serial Pooper”

New York Post

“Cops hunt for ‘Bowel Movement Bandit’ who poops on cars.”

UPI (Filed under “Home/Odd News”)

“Akron police: Parked car pooper has struck 19 times”