Man Spills Human Waste From RV, Causing Hazmat Incident: Police

PETALUMA, CA — A man was arrested Friday on suspicion of dumping human waste in a public area in Petaluma, causing a hazmat — hazardous materials —situation, the Petaluma Police Department said.

Around 8:16 a.m. Friday, residents in the 100 block of Vallejo Street reported an RV was leaking human sewage onto the ground and the surrounding area, Petaluma police Sgt. Ryan Suhrke said.

The RV was still leaking a large amount of human sewage when officers got to the scene.

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“Sewage was seen leaking down the block, towards nearby storm drains,” Suhrke said.

Personnel with the Petaluma Public Works and the Petaluma Fire Department also responded and quickly contained the hazardous materials.

Find out what's happening in Petalumawith free, real-time updates from Patch.

Officers spoke with the RV owner, whom they identified through a window of the RV as Tony Sampson, a 58-year-old Petaluma transient.

Sampson was already on Sonoma County probation and under its terms he was supposed to comply with law enforcement instructions and submit to search and seizure, Suhrke said.

Officers told Sampson multiple times he needed to exit the RV but he continued to refuse their orders. After officers negotiated with Sampson for 30 minutes, the SAFE team arrived. The team, which works with the homeless, tried negotiating with him to no avail.

Officers made entry into the RV after negotiating with Sampson for an hour. After a brief standoff inside the RV, they took him into custody.

He was later booked into Sonoma County jail on suspicion of dumping human waste into a public area, disobeying a court order and obstructing/delaying an officer.

Two dogs inside the RV were taken into Petaluma Animal Control’s temporary custody.

“The Petaluma Police Department would like to thank the area residents who alerted the police department to the hazmat situation,” Suhrke said. “Also, the other city agencies who responded to the scene to assist.”

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