NORFOLK, Va. (WAVY) - A Norfolk dockmaster and his assistant are accused of staging an oil spill.
William Pont and Winston Williams were charged Wednesday afternoon for illegal dumping and giving a false report.
Members of The Environmental Crimes Unit and Coast Guard officials reportedly recovered several beer bottles filled with turkey fryer oil and motor oil in the cockpit of the sunken vessel "Problem Child".
Pont has repeatedly contacted city officials since the "Problem Child" sank in September, claiming the vessel was polluting the water. The day before the beer bottle discovery, the hazmat team responded to another call from Pont and discovered a sheen on the water. The fire department placed a boom around the boat as a safety precaution.
Surveillance video recovered at the American Legion Marina off Colley Avenue, where Pont is the dockmaster, reportedly shows him and assistant dockmaster Williams filling the beer bottles with the oil and going onto the sunken vessel. The video also shows Pont walking onto the boat holding a used oil filter, according to Norfolk spokeswoman Lori Crouch.
A thorough investigation by several agencies revealed Pont and Williams were orchestrating the spill, said Crouch.
10 On Your Side learned that investigators found a beer bottle with what appears to be cooking oil from a fryer. There was another bottle with marine fuel and a fuel filter leaking oil in the sunken boat.
Andy Fox showed Deputy City Attorney Cynthia Hall's pictures to dockmaster Bill Pont who is accused of staging the oil spill,
"I didn't pour any oil into that boat," Pont said.
Hall would not show it to us, but she says surveillance video from that camera shows Pont walking down the dock with the fuel filter authorities found in the sunken boat, "I don't care about the surveillance video. I did not throw any pollutant or contaminant on that vessel," says Pont.
Hall says the surveillance video does not show who threw the bottles into the boat.
We asked Pont if he threw the bottles into the boat, he said, "I did not pour any oil into that boat."
We asked him whether he threw a bottle in the boat. "I didn't pour any oil into that boat. At this point you need to call my attorney," Pont said.
Additional charges are pending.
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