How They Solved Absecon’s Green Pool Dye Mystery
All summer long, someone had been pouring green dye into the pool at the Quality Inn on the White Horse Pike in Absecon.
Sandra Woolstion, the general manager at the hotel, told the New York Times she first noticed the green color in the pool water on June 22.
At first, the discoloration happened about once a week, but then it started becoming more frequent. Leading up to Labor Day Weekend, the pool water was dyed green two days in a row.
Overall, Wollstion estimates that the pool water was dyed green about 12 times this summer.
Each time necessitated paying employees to drain the pool, wash down the sides, and fill it again. Between those expenses and the money lost because of pool closures, Wollstion says it cost her about $20,000 this summer.
In the meantime, Absecon Police began hearing from other people who had green dye attacks on their pools. According to a release from Absecon Police, on August 13 police received a call from a homeowner on Upland Avenue, who reported suspicious activity involving a drone hovering over their pool.
"To the homeowner's dismay, a substance was dropped from the drone, turning the pool water an alarming shade of green".
Last Friday, September 1st, as Quality Inn prepared for Labor Day weekend, the water again turned green. Sandra Woolstion checked her security camera but didn't see anyone approaching the pool.
She told the New York Times, that's when she realized it had to be a drone that was dropping the dye.
With help from the FAA, the drone was tracked back to Comfort Solutions Heating & Cooling, another Absecon business just four minutes away from Quality Inn.
Police went to the HVAC business and arrested Patrick Spina 4th, the business owner. Police say he now faces multiple counts of criminal mischief for, by all indications, "pranking people."
Police say the substance dropped from the drone into the pools was Sea Dye, a material commonly utilized by sea rescue services. The dye not only turned the pool water green but also caused damage to the pools.