— FOX 5 Atlanta (@FOX5Atlanta) October 18, 2016
Through the window inside O’Reilly Auto Parts, manager Mike Robins witnessed it all.
He watched Tuesday morning, around 9:30, as a big blue bus advertising Hillary Clinton’s face eased up in front of his shop and parked on the side of Grayson Highway.
He watched, according to a police report obtained by Fox 5 Atlanta, someone deboard that bus and fiddle with some sort of mechanism.
And he watched — then smelled — a thick liquid pour from the bus’s belly.
Then Robins pulled out his camera and started snapping photos.
He was about to expose the Democratic National Committee’s latest leak.
The bus, one of two traveling the country for the DNC’s “Forward Together” tour, was in the Atlanta suburb of Lawrenceville Tuesday to campaign for Democratic presidential nominee Hillary Clinton and encourage locals to vote. Just down the street, reported Fox 5, people waited in line for early voting in Gwinnett County.
Robins called police.
“You don’t pull up and dump raw sewage on the street and in the storm drain,” the O’Reilly Auto Parts manager told Fox 5. “You just don’t do that.”
Left behind, according to the police report, was evidence: a hefty amount of “drying toilet paper” and a “foul smell.”
The fire department dispatched a hazmat crew.
— George (@gfrancofox5news) October 19, 2016
It’s not exactly the kind of October surprise academics are used to pontificating about in political science textbooks, but with these candidates, in this election, and especially in this month, anything seems possible.
In just the first 19 days of October, we’ve had Donald Trump’s leaked 2005 lewd recording, accusations of sexual misconduct, a report that the GOP nominee may not have paid taxes for nearly two decades and an inflated conspiracy theory from his campaign that the whole darn election is rigged. Liberal filmmaker Michael Moore revealed a surprise Trump film. WikiLeaks keeps publishing emails from the Clinton camp — about Bill Clinton accuser Juanita Broaddrick, Hillary Clinton’s closed-door Wall Street speeches and a campaign staffer dissing Catholics and evangelicals.
And after James O’Keefe’s Project Veritas Action published video investigations showing two obscure but influential Democratic political operatives bragging about political dirty tricks, the men lost their jobs.
Now, in Georgia, there is literal poop.
Authorities are investigating.
— George (@gfrancofox5news) October 18, 2016
The DNC later apologized in statements to local media and USA Today, calling the bus leak an “honest” and “unacceptable” mistake.
“This was an honest mistake and we apologize to the Lawrenceville community for any harm we may have caused,” the DNC said in a statement to the Atlanta Journal-Constitution. “We were unaware of any possible violations and have already taken corrective action with the charter bus company to prevent this from happening again. Furthermore, the DNC will work with the Georgia Department of Natural Resources as well as local and state officials to determine the best course of corrective action.”
The driver said the sewage tank on the bus was full and leaking out, a DNC spokesperson told Fox 5, and that there was concern the spillage could put other cars at risk if the bus kept barreling down the road.
Lawrenceville police told Fox 5 they are not filing charges, but opted to hand over the investigation to the state’s environmental protection agency. State and local authorities are working together to prevent the raw waste dumped into the storm sewer from entering the region’s water supply.
Police Captain Jeff Smith told Fox 5 that dumping the sewage did violate the city code and Kevin Chambers, with the state agency, said their investigation will include an interview with the charter bus company to determine “what happened and why.”
It didn’t take long for local leak outrage to seep into the crevices of the Internet.
“HILLARY S–T ALL OVER THE STREET!” wrote one person on Reddit.
“A tour of the DNC would be a tour of human waste,” wrote another.
“Imagine the things they would call Trump if this was his bus,” a different person posted.
— royalista joe (@royalistajoe) October 19, 2016
Typed one person on Twitter: “When you’re full of s–t, you need a place to dump the excess if you’re to keep going.”
For the man who reported this election’s latest October surprise, though, his outrage had nothing to do with politics, he told Fox 5.
“It’s wrong, it’s absolutely wrong,” Robins said. “I don’t care whose name is on the bus.”