14 Years Ago The Dave Matthews Band Tour Bus Dumped A Ton Of Poop On Some Unsuspecting Tourists ????????

On August 8, 2004, the unspeakable happened to a tour boat of passengers enjoying a ride down the Chicago River. 

As Chicago Times reporter Sam Charles reminded everyone yesterday, this week marks the 14th anniversary of the fateful day when a Dave Matthews Band tour bus dumped its septic tank out onto a boatload of tourists as it crossed a bridge over the Chicago River.

Thoughts and prayers:

It was an otherwise perfect day for the 100 tourists on the open-deck watercraft, Chicago’s Little Lady, to take in the splendid architectural sights. 

But experiencing the sights soon became a full on assault as they crossed under the Kinzie Street Bridge where they were met with 800 pounds worth of human waste streaming down on them from the tour bus above. 

Stefan Wohl, who did the waste dumping, was charged with reckless conduct and water pollution. The 42-year-old pleaded guilty and was sentenced to 18 months of probation, 150 hours of community service, and was fined $10,000, according to the Chicago Tribune.

This Dave Matthew’s 1997 song was about apartheid in South Africa, but it took on whole new meaning after this event.

Someone suggested a title change for the band’s 1994 album, “Under the Table and Dreaming.” 

Chicago needs a monument so no one will forget the day of infamy.

The Chicago River is no stranger to changing its colors.

But the lingering question remained:

This was Operation Poop Drop.

The victims have come forward.

When the drenched boat returned to the dock, the passengers were given refunds. Nobody was seriously injured, but several were taken to a hospital for checkups.

Cook County Assistant State’s Atty. Robert Egan negotiated the plea deal and considered Wohl’s punishment was sufficient enough without jail time. 

I have been in touch with many of the people who were on the boat, and none of them suffered any lasting health effects.

Psychological effects, however, were not mentioned.

Following the incident, the band paid $200,000 to settle a lawsuit filed by state Attorney General Lisa Madigan, according to CBS Local. 

In addition, the band donated $50,000 to the Chicago Park District, the largest municipal park manager; and Friends of the Chicago River, an organization dedicated to maintaining the health of the river. 

The gesture was meant to “begin the healing process,” according to their statement.

H/T – RiotFest, Twitter, CBS, ChicagoTribune