A Newport Coast man accused of tossing poop-filled diapers out of his Lexus onto Pacific Coast Highway in Newport Beach and Laguna Beach says he isn't responsible for the dumpings, court records show.
Tomoo Kawai, 68, pleaded not guilty Monday to a misdemeanor count of unlawful waste disposal, according to court records. Farrah Emami, a spokeswoman for the Orange County District Attorney’s Office, says if convicted Kawai could face probation or up to six months in jail. He is scheduled to return to court for a pretrial hearing on Jan. 23.
Police say the well-known Pacific Coast Highway, famous for its cliff top coastal vistas and swanky sports cars, got a little stinky when someone started dumping dirty diapers along the scenic highway in December 2011.
Several motorists reported finding white bags containing used diapers lying across different sections of PCH for several months. The dirty diapers first appeared near Cameo Highlands in Corona del Mar and later on MacArthur Boulevard in Newport Beach. North Laguna Beach was also hit with dookie-filled diapers along North Coast Highway between Irvine Cove and Emerald Bay.
In September Laguna Beach police found freshly dumped bags of diapers on the street and found an envelope attached to a diaper that was addressed to a medical office in Fullerton.
Police later discovered one of the office's employees lived in Newport Coast. After setting up surveillance on the home, police say they saw Kawai drive off in his Lexus on the night of Tuesday, Sept. 25. When they pulled him over they found a large bag of dirty diapers in the passenger seat.
Kawai was not arrested and remains out of jail on his own recognizance.