For some people, shitting in public is their greatest fear. Either shitting one’s pants, which is truly nightmarish. Or perhaps having to use a public toilet, which is a completely understandable concern. But then there are those rare birds like Jeffrey Churchwell of Elkhorn, Wisconsin. He likes — no, I think it could be said that he loves — to shit in public.
Specifically, Churchwell liked to drop his drawers and defile Natureland Park in Whitewater, Wisconsin. Churchwell did so, in fact, nearly every day for two years. Whenever he’d feel the urge, he’d heed nature’s call and drive over to the public park to shit in the breeze. Sometimes he’d even stop by the park multiple times in the same day.
That is, until earlier this month when the 60-year-old high school English teacher went to court and had to face the music for his crimes. Churchwell had finally been caught on-camera by the local FOX6 News team, as well as a sheriff’s deputy. His days of shitting in the breeze were over.
When he was finally apprehended, Churchwell requested that the news cameras give him space. According to FOX6’s report on the confrontation, “The longtime Milton School District teacher had nothing to say about the disturbing and disgusting behavior he’s accused of — requesting privacy before getting into his car and driving away.”
The man whose job it was to ensure that the English teacher’s daily dumps were removed from Natureland Park was Richard Hough, the Walworth County public works director. He told FOX6 News, “It required us to go out there and check on things daily. It was taking up precious time and resources to go and clean up unnecessary human waste.”
Since the mystery shits had been appearing in the park daily for two years, Hough eventually had a trail camera installed in the hopes that he might catch the Poop Bandit with his pants down. Like some kinda Midwestern Bigfoot (who left behind fresh steaming piles of shit as opposed to footprints), Churchwell had evaded detection for quite a long time. Until finally, the trail cameras caught sight of him — and more importantly, his car. “That gave us enough information that we shared it with the Sheriff’s Department,” Hough explains.
On October 8th, a sheriff’s deputy noticed Churchwell as he pulled his car into the Natureland Park parking lot. Earlier that day, the deputy had spoken with a public works employee who’d complained about a fresh shit in the park and the used toilet paper left behind. The employee told the deputy all about the images they’d been collecting from the trail camera. They showed the authorities the grainy images of Churchwell’s car, in which a license plate was partially visible.
With a partial match of the plates, and a match of the make and model of the car, the deputy felt certain that they had their man. At first, the high school English teacher played dumb. The deputy, however, asked if some photos might refresh his memory and help him figure out why he’d been stopped. He was caught, brown-handed.
Churchwell let his head fall and confessed that he’d been “going to the bathroom.” But the deputy wasn’t satisfied with Churchwell’s euphemistic answer. He asked what that meant exactly. “Number two,” the 60-year-old responded.
After his full confession, Churchwell was arrested.
The next day, presumably after he’d been visited by fears of how the community would respond to the news of his arrest, Churchwell wrote an email to the arresting deputy, stating, “I’m so disappointed in myself. I have the great opportunity to teach ‘Political Rhetoric.’ In this class, I stress the importance of involved citizenship. And then there I am being a lousy citizen of Walworth County.”
“After REALLY thinking about why I did what I did,” he continued, “I came to the conclusion that I allowed my thrill-seeking, self-indulgent pride and ego both get the best of me.”
Churchwell was given a $365 fine and agreed to pay $5,705 in restitution to the Public Works Department. He retired from teaching on January 16th.
He’s working, I’m sure, on becoming a much less shitty person.