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How a Porta Potty is the Bullies New Weapon

Updated on August 13, 2015
Stacie L profile image

Stacie L has been an educator for many years and likes to share her experiences and advice.

typical line of port a potties
typical line of port a potties | Source

Porta potty causes serious injuries

It should be illegal to tip over porta potties. Kids and adults think its funny to have the waste spill all over the unwilling victim trapped inside.

The portable john or toilet is a good business to have and demand is increasing each year. They come in different sizes for private and general public uses. Campers, and boaters may use a seat-type toilet in their tents or boats. If used correctly, no one should be injured, you would think.

Any out of the way or outdoor events will have a need for places that guest can relieve themselves. These larger free-standing comfort stations are found mostly on constructions sites, flea markets and temporary events.

The public units really are a God-send, and they have saved me from embarrassing moments of doing the “pee-pee dance.” Although they are not pleasant smelling, especially in the hot summer, I do appreciate using one instead of the nearby woods.

The humble plastic booth seems harmless enough but there are some hidden dangers involved.

I do remember an incident when I was younger, involving an outhouse. Some friends thought it would be funny to lock me inside on a winter night, and start shaking it. No, it didn't tip over but it was embarrassing just the same.

Bullies have a new weapon

Bullies have existed since the beginning of time, using many methods to intimidate their victims.

Making threats of bodily harm is illegal and now in out civilized society, we can arrest bullies who hurt others.They have many arsenals at their disposal; guns, fists, words, size, Internet social sites, and now, rental toilets.

The large public units are posing a danger in the wrong hands, so to speak.It may bring a chuckle to those who think it funny to lock an unsuspecting user inside, or worse, tip it over.


The dangers of the powerful and toxic chemicals used in the toilets can cause serious harm is ingested or inhaled too long. There are cases where the victim using a potty had ingested the raw materials and chemicals making them violently ill. I think this is adding insult to injury. Considering that the average toilet holding tank can hold 60-70 gallons of waste, that is a horrible way to drown. It's a bad as falling into a septic tank.

Some pranksters torched a port-a-potty in a storage yard in Elk City . They set the unit on fire which caused the others to become engulfed and burn down the business, as a result.

Did they think it good, clean fun or harmless kids pranks? These pranks cause many dollars in damaged units and bodily harm to others.

Tipping over toilet booths while someone is inside seems to make bullies happy.They like to humiliate their prey so having them bath in urine and feces is the ultimate achievement for them. I found numerous reports of people being seriously hurt and maimed by pranksters.other incidents of late are "Peeping Toms" hiding in the porta potty holding tank and watching women doing their duty.Ugh! Some people are so sick!

Pedro Toala in wheelchair
Pedro Toala in wheelchair

People hurt by tipping over porta potties

These two incidents stood out involving portable toilets.

“By SM - 10-12-2010, 04:29 PM New Castle, Del. - Police in Delaware have charged a 14-year-old after they say he forced a 7-year-old inside a "Port-O-John" and intentionally knocked it over, hurting and trapping the boy.”

The 7 year old may survived physically but the trauma and embarrassment of being drenched with urine and feces. Being trapped and helpless was clearly a case of bullying by the older 14 year old. In fact the police charged him with 'unlawful imprisonment.”and was arrested and may face a felony charge. The boy was forcible detained in the booth so he didn't just happen to be using it.

Another headline reads,”Delaware crime: Teen charged in cruel toilet-tipping prank back in 2006; attack left DART a bus driver paralyzed.

This time a grown man was seriously injured and now paralyzed when some pranksters tipped over the portable unit he was using. Pedro Toala is sitting in a wheelchair today and it took four years for some justice, but he's not celebrating.

According to the U.K. Event magazine, “toilet tippers” incidents are on the rise at festivals and sporting events. It seems the tipsy revelers favorite targets are the porta-potties and the hapless victim inside often has a rude awakening. some people have ingested the chemicals spilled over them after the nits were tipped over. I'm sure thee drunken pranksters didn't think it was going to harm anyone but maybe they need a taste of their own medicine.(pardon the pun)

Some Recommendations

I think that there need to be some policing of these units. They are just waiting for someone to be contained in. It's like an empty coffin or box or refrigerator and are dangerous in the wrong hands.

I know we can't watch everyone but the units are not securely fastened to the ground, which seems to be the biggest issue. If they are fastened to a long “floor” with locked metal clasps, the units couldn't be tipped over.

The property owner and portable toilets need some responsibility of securing them. Either have them picked up or put a lock on the doors after everyone leaves.

That's so simple and easy a solution; why isn't it being done?

Potty on the Go

Final thoughts on the dangers of rental toilets

As I stated in the beginning, I think it should be illegal to tip over these portable toilets. Porta potty, potty, port a john, or potty on the go, are all terms used to describe the plastic rental units that we all need but hate to use.

I started out writing this tongue in cheek and thought it was a funny subject. I soon found many incidents involving these units being used to forcibly imprison others and to cause them harm and embarrassment. Having many gallons of waste spilled over your body is traumatizing. If you are lucky enough to not ingest any of the human waste or the chemicals, you still are stressed by being trapped in a plastic coffin. The 14 year old teenager that was arrested for entrapping the 7 year old is a good start.

The man who became paralyzed after the unit was toppled over on him will never walk gain. Pranksters need to think about the consequences. Someone else's life and future may be in their hands. The gallons of human waste material all over someone is uncomfortable to discuss so people tend to ignore it or laugh about it.

© 2011 Stacie L


Submit a Comment
  • Stacie L profile imageAUTHOR

    Stacie L 

    5 years ago

    poetryman6969: Yes porta potties are nasty but necessary. European models don't tip over? Maybe it will catch on in the states.


  • poetryman6969 profile image


    5 years ago

    Hate using these things but when you gotta go ya gotta go. In some European countries they have a completely different design that cannot be tipped but most folks would feel more exposed.

  • Stacie L profile imageAUTHOR

    Stacie L 

    7 years ago

    They are disgusting for sure but a necessary evil.

    I deplore those who use them to hurt others as I wrote in the article

  • expertscolumn profile image

    Stanley Soman 

    7 years ago from New York

    I used on in NYC, and it helped me a lot because you know in the middle of the city when you've got to pee you can't run into the woods. It stunk with a disgusting stink but it served the function

  • Stacie L profile imageAUTHOR

    Stacie L 

    8 years ago

    @alocsin: The port-a- potty is usually safe unless you're bothered by a groups of bored teenagers or drunk fair goers. LOL

  • alocsin profile image

    Aurelio Locsin 

    8 years ago from Orange County, CA

    Yikes, now I have to worry not only if there's a port-a-potty around when I need it at a fair, but all these other dangers while using it. Thanks for the warning. Voting this Up and Useful.

  • Stacie L profile imageAUTHOR

    Stacie L 

    8 years ago

    @Joe Macho: thanks for reading and commenting.

    Someone would really have to be desperate to sit under a porta potty!

  • Joe Macho profile image


    8 years ago from Colorado

    This hub is really interesting. I'm not one to use these disgusting things. I'd much rather take my chances dropping trousers in the woods. I've heard of peeping toms getting caught in outhouses that have a deeper pit for wastes, but I've never heard of peeping toms in a Port-o-Potty. That would really be a lot to go through just to get a little show. Anyway, I really liked the subject. Voted up and interesting. Thanks

  • Stacie L profile imageAUTHOR

    Stacie L 

    8 years ago

    Hey Baker Haley; porta potties are not pretty but they do serve a purpose. Thank you for taking the time to read and comment.

  • Baker Haley profile image

    Baker Haley 

    8 years ago from A hot oven

    This is crazy! I'm so surprised and disgusted. I don't think I will ever use a porta pottie again...ew! Thanks for posting.

  • Stacie L profile imageAUTHOR

    Stacie L 

    8 years ago

    yes NateSean;the people make the porta-potties dangerous, just like people make guns dangerous

    thanks for reading....

  • NateSean profile image


    8 years ago from Salem, MA

    I like the article and it's well written. But I wonder if it's a little misdirected.

    It sounds like the danger isn't the porta potties, which the title of your hub implies, but the bullies themselves.

    It's not a terribly huge difference in the grand scheme of things, but it's something to think about.

  • Stacie L profile imageAUTHOR

    Stacie L 

    9 years ago

    thank you for your comments, SEO Expert Kerala! :-)

  • SEO Expert Kerala profile image

    SEO Expert Kerala 

    9 years ago from KERALA

    Hello Mr stackie L you had provided all the dangers and victims of some of the porta-porty. I think they should arrange some other system except porta porty. Sharing on this topic is really appreciated.

  • radiokoala profile image


    9 years ago from Grodno, Belarus

    Well, funny is the fact of designer portraying a man with two legs but woman with only one – you probably just didn't noticed that.

  • Stacie L profile imageAUTHOR

    Stacie L 

    9 years ago

    radiokoala; i saw the photo and cant see what is funny about it. maybe explain it to me.

    thanks for visiting.:-)

  • radiokoala profile image


    9 years ago from Grodno, Belarus

    When it comes to toilets, I can't help but show the funny shot I have once taken:

    A bit chauvinistic, eh? :]

  • Stacie L profile imageAUTHOR

    Stacie L 

    9 years ago

    Minnetonka Twin; I can't imagine being in that situation myself. I know I would definitely have nightmares.

    Every time I use one of these I am going to remember these victims.

  • Stacie L profile imageAUTHOR

    Stacie L 

    9 years ago

    well someonewhoknows: three comments? thank you for your input. those are interesting suggestions and wonder why the companies don't do this myself.

  • Minnetonka Twin profile image

    Linda Rogers 

    9 years ago from Minnesota

    Thanks for the great information. I can't imagine how scary and disgusting it would be to be caught in a porta potty. I have trouble breathing in them even when I'm only in there for a little. What a sick prank and how I feel for victims.

  • someonewhoknows profile image


    9 years ago from south and west of canada,north of ohio

    maybe a spring loaded lever of somekind for access that closes automatically when it's not needed.

  • someonewhoknows profile image


    9 years ago from south and west of canada,north of ohio

    Or at least have a way to prevent backflow of the sewage into the porta-potty.above the point of disposal by the occupant.

  • someonewhoknows profile image


    9 years ago from south and west of canada,north of ohio

    Perhaps they should have a way to access the sewer system rather than storing it in the porta-potty itself.


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