The man accused in an unusual February bomb scare said Monday he has dismissed his attorney and plans to ask for a delay of his trial, scheduled to begin Tuesday in Baltimore County Circuit Court.
On Feb. 7, Duane G. Davis, of the 1400 block of Lochner Road in Northeast Baltimore, , home to county government.
When the toilet was discovered by a maintenance worker that morning, police closed streets and dispatched bomb squad technicians and robots. The toilet was covered in news clippings and pictures and attached to it were a CD, radio and cell phone, along with a petition. Police quickly traced the toilet to Davis.
"It was supposed to attract attention," Davis said. "The first thing you see in the morning is a toilet. It's your best friend."
Davis freely admits he put the toilet out in Towson, and that he has placed similar toilets in front of Baltimore City schools headquarters and City Hall. The toilets were meant to be political statements, not threats, he said. This was the first time such a toilet caused a stir.
The Towson toilet was out on Washington Avenue for 24 hours before it was discovered and reported, Davis said.
"What happened on Sunday to make it a bomb threat on Monday?" Davis asked
By late morning on Feb. 7, he started getting phone calls from media organizations.
Davis said he went about his business, including a meeting with City Councilman Bill Henry and a dispute with his landlord in Baltimore Circuit Court.
County police arrested Davis as he returned home later that afternoon. He was charged with leaving a fake destructive device and making a false statement about a destructive device — both felonies.
The 51-year-old Davis, who goes by the nickname "Shorty," casts himself as an activist and filmmaker whose rights have been infringed. Many of his issues stem from 2006, when his son Gerrell was shot and killed during a botched burglary in Zion, IL. In a petition attached to the toilet left in Towson, he asked that state and local officials complete a full investigation of the death.
He carries with him a thick book of certificates, letters, files, pictures and petitions. He uses form letters and certified mail receipts as proof that officials in Maryland, Illinois and Washington have heard his pleas. He claimed Gov. Martin O'Malley could get his case against Illinois officials moved to Maryland.
"I went to another state to get justice from them," he said.
He said he considers the toilets his calling card and the decorations a "ghetto Da Vinci Code."
At a bail review hearing in Maryland District Court, he claimed he had letters from O'Malley and President Barack Obama saying they approved of what he was doing. A judge revoked his bail and .
Since then, Davis found and dropped attorney Thomas Saunders, who represented him pro bono at his April bail hearing. Davis said he and Saunders disagreed on how many witnesses to call.
A motion requesting Saunders' removal was filed on Wednesday, according to online court records.
Previously, to push for a jury trial and avoid striking any deal with prosecutors.
Davis, who until recently owned an Upperco barbecue restaurant, has spent the month since his eventual release on bail unsuccessfully looking for work.
When the case is over, he's pretty sure what he'll get back to.
"I'm putting toilets all over Baltimore. You gonna see toilets like you saw crabs," Davis said. "I'm gonna be the new tidy bowl man. I'm gonna clean up politics in Maryland."