The mayor of an affluent Southern California city was caught on camera leaving a bag of what appeared to be dog feces on his neighbor’s property, police said, and the neighbor believes this wasn't an accident.
Dennis Kneier, mayor of San Marino, a town of approximately 13,000 people just south of Pasadena, was identified as the person placing a plastic bag in the private walkway of a home in the 1400 block of Charlton Road on Saturday. According to San Marino Police, the bag was tied closed and appeared to have been intentionally place at the walkway entrance.
Homeowner Philip Lao says that surveillance footage shows Kneier and his wife walking. In the video, Kneier’s wife is seen pointing to Lao’s walkway, and then Kneier is seen tossing the bag onto it.
Lao believes that Kneier was seeking revenge for his opposition to the mayor’s dog park proposal. Lao is against the dog park because he believes dogs are left there for hours as their owners run errands, and the dogs tend to fight when left unattended.
Lao lives a block away from Lacy Park, and as such, has "no poop zone" signs in his front lawn. According to Lao, Kneier does not like him posting signs like that, but Lao believes it is his right as a homeowner. Lao told the city council that when people take down their USC and UCLA signs, he’ll take down his "no poop zone" signs.
Kneier had previously said that he found the bag near the sidewalk, but told NBC4 that he could not know for sure where he picked up the plastic bag before placing it on Lao’s walkway. He acknowledged that he did not reach down and place the bag on the walkway, but instead that he was "standing up and dropped it," adding that he "may have flicked it off a bit."
When asked about the "no poop zone" sign, Kneier said that he personally does not like it, but that there has been no animosity between himself and Lao. Kneier added that the sign is "not the look we want to have in San Marino," but that it is not against any city ordinance.
The mayor lives two blocks from Lao and says he regularly walks by Lao’s home.
Kneier said that if he had to do it all over again, he would have walked by Lao’s home and left the plastic bag where he says he originally found it, or else he would have disposed of it in a trash can.
"I take responsibility for what happened," Kneier said. "I’m sorry it happened… this was a mistake."
Neither Kneier nor Lao is a dog owner.