A 57-year-old government employee in Louisiana has been arrested and charged with multiple felonies after he was allegedly caught on camera urinating in the city’s water supply on at least two separate occasions.
Michael Mastin, an employee at a water supply treatment plant in Donaldsonville, was taken into custody last week and charged with two counts each of contaminating water supplies and criminal damage to critical infrastructure, records reviewed by Law&Crime show. Donaldsonville is located in Ascension Parish, about 40 miles southeast of Baton Rouge.
In surveillance camera footage obtained by Baton Rouge NBC affiliate WVLA-TV, the now-former city employee appears to walk out of an office located behind a large pool filled with water surrounded by yellow guard rails with three control panels affixed to the front rail. A man appearing to be Mastin walks towards the security camera — which is positioned to capture the control panels, water pool, and office door — and repositions it upwards so the pool is no longer visible.
The man then walks over to the rail and appears to unzip his fly and urinate into the pool, looking over at the camera several times, before re-zipping his fly and walking back into the office. He returns from the office about 30 seconds later and places the camera back in its original position to include the pool in the shot again.
Ascension Parish President Clint Cointment reportedly told WVLA that his administration learned of Mastin’s alleged actions on the morning of March 22 and immediately opened an investigation. When the claims were shown to be credible, Mastin at around 2:45 p.m. was terminated from his tenured position with the city.
Sheriff’s deputies took him into custody less than two hours after he was fired, records show.
Cointment reportedly told WVLA that multiple tests and samples have confirmed that the incident, while crude, did not compromise the safety of the city’s drinking water, which still meets all requisite standards.
“As Parish President, I am extremely disappointed, and I find this conduct disgusting and unacceptable,” Cointment said in a statement. “This type of behavior will never be tolerated in parish government. Since the beginning of this administration, we have held our parish employees accountable and this is no exception. I demand accountability on behalf of the public.”
Following his arrest, Mastin refused to tell APSO investigators why he allegedly relieved himself in the water supply, particularly when there was a bathroom located nearby on the same floor, according to a report from The Advocate. The report further states that officials went through surveillance footage and found that Mastin had urinated in the pool at least one other time in the last 30 days, which is as far back as the plant’s video archives go.
Cointment told WVLA that his administration notified the state Department of Health, the 23rd Judicial District Attorney’s Office, and federal authorities about the alleged crime, saying the incident “is now in their jurisdiction as an ongoing investigation.”
Have a tip we should know? [email protected]