PORTLAND (AP) – A Portland woman accused of spreading dog feces at Deering Oaks Park as part of a vendetta against its weekly farmer’s market has been banned from the park and charged with criminal mischief.

Lora Leland, 53, was caught early Saturday emptying 16 bags of dog feces in the road that winds through the center of the park, police said. She explained that she was angry at the Saturday morning farmer’s market because it interfered with her ability to ride her bicycle through the park, police said.

Farmers who arrived to the mess every Saturday for the better part of two summers were elated by the arrest.

“When the farmers came in to set up, they just had to clean up the whole road,” said officer Dan Knight, who staked out the park with a fellow officer Friday night into Saturday in an effort to apprehend the culprit.

At 3:30 a.m. Saturday, they spotted a woman walking a miniature German shepherd down the park’s interior road. The woman was reaching into a large plastic shopping bag, removing smaller bags which she would open and then dump the contents onto the roadway, Knight said.

“She told us that she doesn’t like that they take up that whole road because she can’t ride her bike there,” Knight said.

The woman said she would collect the small baggies with dog feces from city garbage cans over the course of the preceding week as well as stockpile it from her own dog, then spread it to disrupt the market, police said.

“There was some old stuff, like it’s been in the trash for a while and a fair amount of fresh stuff,” Knight said. “Sixteen bags in all.”

Leland, who could not be reached for comment, faces a misdemeanor charge of criminal mischief and has been served a criminal trespass order barring her from the park for a year. If found guilty, she faces up to a year in jail, though authorities say a fine is more likely.

AP-ES-06-02-04 1351EDT



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