MARIETTA, Ga. -- Cobb County Police plan to canvass a close-knit neighborhood in hopes of catching the person who allegedly dumped what appeared to be a toxic chemical on a toddler’s playset.
The incident, which unfolded in the Petka family’s yard, was all caught on surveillance video.
Their camera picked up footage of an unknown man wearing a hat and a backpack walking across their yard, stopping at their 2-year-old’s plastic slide and pouring something on it.
The family discovered mysterious, burned black footprints in their yard over the weekend, apparently left by the man around 4:30 a.m. Friday.
Police are taking Friday morning’s incident very seriously, but so far they haven’t made an arrest. It’s left both parents and pet owners in the Holly Springs subdivision worried.
“I’m stunned that this happens here,” said one neighbor who didn’t want to be named. “It blows my mind.”
Jeff and Kathleen Petka shared the video of the incident on both Facebook and NextDoor.com to alert their neighbors, who are now on the lookout for burned grass or other damage in their yards.
Neighbors in the Holly Springs subdivision say it’s full of kids and pets and neighbors who look out for one other. Scott Brod said they’re doing that even more now, after the incident.
“Everybody kind of takes care of everybody in this neighborhood,” he said. “It’s concerning for sure…lots of neighbors have dogs and they’re always outside.”
Authorities are looking into the incident, but the big questions now are what was the chemical that was strong enough to burn the lawn and why would someone do such a thing. Police may not have an answer to the first question, however, because it rained over the weekend and the homeowners hosed off their slide.