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A man tosses out computer discs with 75 images of children. A woman fishes them out of the trash and calls police.
By CHRIS TISCH, Times Staff Writer
© St. Petersburg Times
published January 8, 2003
LARGO -- A man was arrested on a child pornography charge Monday after he pitched into the garbage computer discs that held about 75 sexual photographs of young girls, Largo police said.
The man was arrested after a female passer-by dug into his trash and took the discs home. She put the discs into her computer and found the images, then reported her discovery to police.
Edward J. Mitskevich, 59, of 1399 Belcher Road was arrested Monday on a felony charge of child pornography possession. He was booked into the Pinellas County Jail, then posted $5,000 bail and was released, jail records show.
Mitskevich admitted to downloading the pornographic photos from the Internet about five years ago, then saving them on the discs, said Largo police Detective Joe Coyle.
Mitskevich had separated from his wife but had reconciled recently and was getting ready to move in with her. He was cleaning out his stuff when he threw away the discs, along with an old fax machine, which he placed in a garbage container in his driveway, Coyle said.
The fax machine attracted the interest of the passer-by, who plucked the machine and the discs from the trash.
"She was basically Dumpster-diving," Coyle said. "And, boom, up pops child pornography."
Though the woman didn't know Mitskevich, his name was on a container that held the discs. There also were personal photographs of Mitskevich on the discs, including some of him having sexual relations with a consenting adult, police said.
The child pornography photos show girls under the age of 10 involved in various sexual activities, arrest reports state.
"How he worded it was, he said he was young and stupid," Coyle said. "But he's like 50-something now. It's not like he was much younger."
Mitskevich said he ran a magnet over the discs in an attempt to erase them before throwing them away, Coyle said.
Coyle said he could have arrested Mitskevich on 75 child pornography charges but decided to arrest him on a single charge and let prosecutors decide if they want to lodge more charges.
-- Chris Tisch can be reached at 445-4156 or firstname.lastname@example.org .