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Detroit Police fed up with 'habitual illegal dumper'

Posted at 6:51 PM, Mar 25, 2022
and last updated 2022-03-25 18:51:21-04

DETROIT (WXYZ) — Detroit Police Lieutenant Dana Russell calls 39-year-old Mahmoud Saad a "habitual illegal dumper" after investigators say they busted him, again, dumping tree branches and other debris from his tree trimming business.

Officers arrested Saad Friday morning on an outstanding warrant for littering on private property, and more charges could be coming against the Dearborn business owner.

Police say Saad was caught on surveillance video last month dumping branches and debris on Lindsay Street near West McNichols on Detroit's west side.

Saad's alleged crimes add to the massive mountain of garbage, debris, and city workers pick up every month.

"We average about 700 tons of illegal dumping every week," said Doug Collins, Superintendent at the City of Detroit's Department of Public Works. "It's a sad thing."

DPD Commander Eric Decker telling reporters Friday, "It's a slap in the face for the city. It just totally disrespects and upsets us."

It's unclear if Saad was released from detention Friday pending a later court date. 7 Action News tried to contact him through his business phone number but we've been unable to reach him.

Police said Saad cried Friday when officers handcuffed him but that previous signs of remorse have not led to any change for the better.

"Every time we talk to him, he acts like he's remorseful and that he'll never do it again, but, I mean, eight times?" said Officer Jeremy Woods, referring to the number of times they've had contact with Saad since 2020.

"His vehicles were seized and he was given $14,000 in fines. He paid those, got his vehicles back out, and continue to do it," Woods said.

The majority of illegal dumping seems to be carried out by Detroiters who throw away unwanted items right across the street or close to where they live, according to city officials. And most of it is construction material from remodeling a portion or all of a home.

The city urges people to take advantage of low-cost garbage removal for items that are not part of your weekly pickup.

"And you don't have to do nothing but get it in front of your house and make the phone call. We'll make it go away for a reasonable price." Collin said. "You dump it across the street or down the road or over here, they're going to catch you and it's a lot more expensive paying for it that way."

Lt. Russell said her team will respond to reports of illegal dumping. You can call 313-224-6000 or use the Improve Detroit mobile app.

You can also click here to submit an online complaint through the ombudsman.

"This is a serious matter to us," Russell said. "Under the direction of Chief James White and Mayor Mike Duggan, this is a priority and our mission is to go from blight to beauty in the city of Detroit."