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.

Comments (12)
  1. sheriff says:

    Sentence him to thirty days on the toilet.

  2. Doug says:

    ” Hey Mister Tally man,
    tally me some toilet paper ”

    I see Eddie Murphy as a Dredlock singing
    ‘ Kill all the white people “

  3. sheriff says:

    No need for toilet paper, no need to wipe his Tookas, it all looks the same afterwards anyway.

  4. Joe Roulhac says:

    I have know Shorty for years and his wife………no harm done here he used to own Shorty’s ribs on Falls Road….Great stuff was there for YEARS and catered a LOT of events, this all happen when his son was murdered in Chicago……don’t judge a book by it’s cover and I am white and have eaten Shorty’s for years….. he used to cater my Bosses Fathers Day party every year!!

  5. Robin Linton says:

    Leaving a briefcase in a subway appears to be more of a bomb threat than a commode. They were just setting an example. Go Shorty! I miss your barbecue.

  6. Will B. Smilardo says:

    seems alright to me… just another example of letting the Patriot Act get all out of hand. would love to see the actual artistic rendering he deposited to judge for myself. He probably has some valid points.

  7. Kimberly Blackwell says:


  8. East Coast says:

    If it was so important for this man to have his toilet respected as art, then he should have notified authorities about his plans and gotten a permit to display his project. Anyone with even a simple mind knows that in this new era of terrorism, than anyone stupid enough to do something like this would be charged criminally. So, please hold the sob story because no one is buying the art angle.

  9. sheriff says:

    If we allowed every one of us who had a hair brained idea, & we all do from time to time to actually follow through with them in public, I shudder to think of the disaster it would create. Like letting the s…..t rats take over the city. Nah, this guy needs to spend some time with a counselor & a few months at Shep Pratt. How about the new one in Ruxtun? That should go over like a pregnant pole vaulter with the neighbors.

  10. David Parks says:

    I am in NC now, but remeber Shorty’s ribs in B-mo..He love the hood….