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Richmonders fed up with someone defecating in their backyards: ‘I feel violated’

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RICHMOND, Va. -- Connor Freche said he felt annoyed when he found someone had defecated in his West Marshall Street backyard a few weeks ago.

"For me it’s an issue of that I feel kind of violated," Freche explained. "People are coming to my house uninvited and being on my property."

In fact, he said someone has relieved themselves in his backyard three times within the past month. Freche's small, fenced-in backyard can easily be accessed by an alleyway.

Connor Freche

"I don’t think somebody is targeting me. My alley gets really dark at night," he said.

One resident, who wanted to remain anonymous, said he caught a woman defecating behind his Jackson Ward home last fall.

The problem was so bad in the alleyway between West Grace and West Broad Streets that homeowners posted a "NO PUBLIC RESTROOMS" sign and a camera on their back fence.

Arnell James, who lives in the Fan District, said he's witnessed individuals relieve themselves in public alleys on numerous occasions.

"I’ve seen women out here. I’ve seen men taking a number one and number two. It’s sad," James stated. "It was like they were at home at their apartment using the bathroom. You don’t do this outside."

Freche has purchased a camera and is putting up "No trespassing" signs in order to deter the problem.

"I don’t like knowing someone was on my property and I have to clean it up," he said.

According to the Code of Ordinances, if you're caught in the act of relieving yourself in public:

Sec. 19-239. - Public urination and defecation.

(a) It shall be unlawful for any person to knowingly, voluntarily and intentionally urinate or defecate in public or in a public place or in a place open to public view, except in a public restroom facility.
(b) Any person, upon conviction of violation of this section, shall be guilty of a Class 1 misdemeanor.

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