TOWSON, Md. (WJZ) — It’s art, political protest and bathroom humor rolled into one, but the electronics attached to a decorated toilet created a bomb scare in Towson.
Suzanne Collins reports the suspect insists he never meant any harm.
The toilet placed outside the Towson Courthouse in February was plastered with political literature and a cell phone with googly eyes. The bomb squad shut down streets, but the designer says it’s just his political statement about racism.
“One point three million people locked up in America, more than any nation in the world and we’re to be promoting democracy in the land,” said Duane “Shorty” Davis.
Davis, who used to run a barbecue stand, has been locked up since that day. His lawyer argued he’s no potential terrorist and he should be released on bail.
“It may not be a wise decision. He certainly is guilty of littering and bad judgment, but not placing a destructive device,” said Thomas Saunders, defense attorney.
A judge ruled Tuesday she would grant Davis bail of $10,000 cash. If his friends can raise the money, he can get out of jail before trial.
Davis plans to plead not guilty, saying he didn’t intend this to be a “false destructive device” and he may “enjoy the attention a trial would bring.”
He has been putting protest toilets all over for several years. He says he’s never been considered a threat before.
“The toilets have been to Washington, D.C., New York and Chicago,” Davis said.
“He views himself as artistic but also as a voice for protest against a racist society,” said Saunders.
A court psychiatric test showed that Davis is competent to stand trial. Saunders say he’s quirky but quite intelligent.
Saunders tells the court Davis has friends willing to take him in since he’s lost his own apartment.