ENID, Okla. -- The odor of dead fish could be smelled across a major highway in Enid. That's because a fish farm employee dumped nearly a dozen large bags of dead fish in a dumpster belonging to another business.
As you can only imagine the owner was furious. The smell of fish rotting in the hot sun was not only offensive to his customers but other business in the area. They were also victims to the foul odor that lasted an entire weekend.
When Don Jantz came to work something didn't smell quite right.
"I go out there and I look through it and there are bags and bags and bags of fish," Jantz says. “Well, I was like ‘who does something like this’ it was crazy."
On his surveillance video he saw a truck from a fish farm and an employee tossing bags of dead fish into his dumpster. Nine bags were counted.
"I was really furious because it kind of stunk. It was about 100 degrees that day and the bags were swelling up and busting and there was just stuff running everywhere," Jantz explains.
He captured a cell phone video as the fish began to decompose and larva feasted on the rotting fish.
Jantz says, "I was worried the trash company wouldn't even pick this thing up because it was so bad and there were like maggots and flies everywhere crawling; and it was just terrible."
And as hours in the heat went by the stench became unbearable
"How far back could you smell it?” NewsChannel 4 asks.
“Well, I got a call the next day from the people across the highway at the college," Jantz says.
"She said, man we could smell it all the way over here. It’s terrible; and that Saturday evening we had people coming in our store and they were all saying ‘what’s that smell;’ and there were flies coming in."
Jantz called Enid Police and when the officer arrived, he too was taken aback by the foul odor he couldn't easily shake
Enid Police officer, Dustin Albright, says, "People clean their stuff out; then go behind someone's business and dump it; maybe people don't understand that's illegal and we can cite you for that.”
Jantz got in touch with the owner of the fish farm.
"She came up here and she was devastated. She was like, ‘I can't believe my people would do that,’" Jantz says.
Not only did the fish farm owners clean out the bin, they gave Jantz a check for the inconvenience; money that would have gone to the drivers bonus.
That employee was off the hook, but the trash man wasn't so lucky.
“He was like, ‘Oh my gosh! I have to ride on the back of this truck all day,” Jantz says.
We spoke to the owners of the fish farm and they were very apologetic and cleaned up the mess.
Enid Police says the fine for using someone else's dumpster can start at $144 all the way to $554 which is a Class A offense.