Police followed a trail of animal feces footprints to confirm a Eustis man broke into a garage and slept in the homeowner’s Hummer.
Dominic Joseph Degrego, 22, was charged with burglary of an unoccupied dwelling (unarmed) and criminal mischief ($200 or less) after the incident, which happened Tuesday afternoon at a home on Baytree Boulevard in Tavares. Degrego was found passed out in a chair on the porch of another home on the street, according to the arrest report from the Tavares Police Department.
A contractor working at the victim’s home told officers he entered the garage and found Degrego in the rear passenger seat of the parked Hummer H3. Degrego did not have permission to enter the garage or the vehicle. The contractor said he told Degrego to leave the property, which he did, the report said.
The contractor said he watched as Degrego walked down the street and unsuccessfully tried to enter a Dodge Journey in the driveway of another house. Degrego then unsuccessfully tried to enter a Toyota Tundra at a third house before going onto the porch of the home where he was eventually found, according to the report.
Degrego told officers he had taken Xanax sometime that morning, which made it difficult for him to recall his actions. While interviewing Degrego, one of the officers detected a strong odor of animal feces and observed what appeared to be feces on the bottom and sides of Degrego’s right shoe, the report said.
Degrego was placed in the back of a patrol car as the officer began investigating the area. The officer found a clear trail of feces shoe prints on the sidewalk leading to the residences where Degrego had been. The prints became faint and difficult to discern near the home where Degrego was found, according to the report.
The officer investigated the Hummer and found animal feces smeared into the rear passenger floorboard and lower doorframe of the vehicle, consistent with the feces on Degrego’s shoe. The contractor said the feces inside the vehicle would need to be professionally cleaned, the report said.
The officer then began transporting Degrego to the Lake County Jail for booking. On the way, Degrego said he was experiencing chest pain. The officer pulled into the parking lot near Dunkin Donuts on North Duncan Drive and Dead River Road to call for EMS, according to the report.
Degrego was taken to Advent Health Waterman Hospital for evaluation and care. He was handcuffed to the stretcher handrail, and the officer stayed in the room with him for the duration of his stay, the report said.
After being released from the hospital, Degrego was taken to the jail, where bond was set at $15,500.