A special police unit identified a man they say has dumped hundreds of old tires around the District and is trying to track down the suspect.
An arrest warrant has been issued for 56-year-old Deron McDonald. Sources familiar with the investigation say he stole a rental truck and used it to collect tires from local tire shops that paid him to haul the tires away.
He was identified by using surveillance cameras the environment crimes team known as the Dump Busters place in areas they know are prone to illegal dumping.
“It’s absolutely unacceptable in our city and it can be demoralizing,” said D.C. Department of Energy and Environment Director Tommy Wells.
Wells and Chief of Police Peter Newsham were on hand Thursday as volunteers worked with the Dump Busters to clean up a dump site in Fort Dupont Park.
“It’s very distressing,” said volunteer Deb Jackson.
Jackson had time to volunteer Thursday because she is a federal worker.
“I’m furloughed,” she said. “One of my New Year’s resolutions was to do more volunteer work, and this popped up on Facebook.”
Police said the suspect responsible for dumping tires in Fort Dupont Park also is responsible for dumping tires in other parts of the city.
Police hope to have him in custody very soon.
“I suspect he’s going to go to jail,” Wells said. “We take environmental crimes in D.C. very seriously.”
Newsham said tire shops that used him could also face charges.
“We’re going to find out where the tires came from and see if there’s some criminal behavior on that end as well,” he said.
In the past year, the Dump Busters team has made more than 130 arrests of people dumping everything from construction debris to household items to toxic waste.