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Two men accused of befouling Renaissance Vinoy pool

ST. PETERSBURG — Police say it was shortly after midnight Thursday when the two men climbed over a security fence at the Renaissance Vinoy Hotel.

Nearby was the pool. But Michael Cline, 19, and Andrew Harris, 18, weren't there to swim, police say.

In fact, their actions forced the hotel to clean and bleach the pool.

The two were watched by Vinoy security guards as they befouled the swimming pool with human feces. Guards called police, who found the men in the hot tub.

Harris told police he wasn't a guest at the Vinoy and wasn't visiting anyone, but he regularly went to the hotel to swim.

Both Harris and Cline denied the allegations.

Security guards told police similar incidents have happened recently, forcing the hotel to close the pool and drain it, and to compensate some guests.

General manager Russ Bond said the hotel isn't packed now, so few guests have been affected by the pool closure. The resort has another pool at the golf course, he said, and the North Shore pool has accommodated some of the hotel's guests.

"I think people with a public or private pool have had similar issues," he said. "We just happened to catch the people who did it."

The men face charges of commercial burglary, a felony, and were taken to the Pinellas County Jail. They remained in jail Thursday in lieu of $10,000 bail. Police say the men were charged with felonies because of the cost of cleaning the facility.

The pool should be in service by this morning, Bond said.

Two men accused of befouling Renaissance Vinoy pool 08/19/10 [Last modified: Thursday, August 19, 2010 10:48pm]
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