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(Yahoo) -- A substitute teacher at a school in Sarasota, Fla. is under investigation for smearing human feces all over the picnic tables and grills at a local park last month. The vandalism is thought to have been an act of revenge against the school’s principal, whose daughter’s birthday party was set to take place at the outdoor venue.
Heather Carpenter is accused of causing more than $2,300 in damages when she showed up at the pavilion in Urfer Park on Dec. 1 to contaminate the picnic area, according to Florida’s Fox 13 News. An eyewitness named Mike Hutchinson happened to notice that Carpenter appeared to be wiping down the tables at 6:30 a.m. — but as he moved closer, he detected a foul odor and soon realized the woman in a surgical mask and blue rubber gloves was up to no good.
“When I walked back over here to see what was going on, the smell hit me,” Hutchinson told the local news station of the incident. “And I noticed she wiped it on every table. It was on the ground. 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.”
He said Carpenter fled as soon as she realized she was busted and added that he was “shocked and appalled” at the mess she left behind.
Within a few days, the Sarasota County Police Department was able to track down and arrest Carpenter, whose van matched the description given by other eyewitnesses at the park. Once apprehended on Dec. 7, the teacher admitted to intentionally spreading the feces in order to be a party pooper — literally.
She explained to investigators that she was embroiled in a dispute with the principal at Phillippi Shores, where she had been a substitute teacher. The principal, Dr. Allison S. Foster, had reportedly invited all of the students in her 7-year-old’s class, including Carpenter’s child, according to Fox 13. So when Carpenter grew unhappy with Foster, she apparently decided to play dirty.
It cost Sarasota County $2,310 to clean up the pavilion and replace the grills and the wooden picnic tables. But it was the children who truly paid the price, as the party had to be canceled and rescheduled.
It seems like something a 12-year-old might do, not an adult,” parent Roy Baldwin said to WFLA, an NBC affiliate. “She should be stuck cleaning bathrooms for a while. Give her a chance to get up close and personal.”
Yahoo Lifestyle reached out to the Sarasota County School District, but has not heard back. A spokesperson for the district did tell WFLA that Carpenter is no longer a teacher at Phillippi Shores Elementary School, and she cannot teach or volunteer while an active investigation is underway.
Carpenter has been charged with third-degree felony mischief and property damage, according to WWSB, an ABC affiliate.