When Lebanon firefighters were called out to rescue a man stuck in a port-a-potty, they were expecting to find an overturned toilet with the victim of a practical joke inside.

Instead, when they arrived at the former Harold's Furniture store in the 600 block of Cumberland Street of Lebanon, they found 31-year-old Shannon P. Hunter of Lebanon. He was drunk, naked and wedged up to his waist in the hole of the toilet, Deputy Fire Commissioner Chris Miller said.

"I'm not sure what exactly was taking place inside the port-o-pot," Miller said. "All I know is that the subject was wedged in the tank. . . . He would only say he needed to use the bathroom, and he claimed he fell in the toilet. When I asked him why he was naked, he just shrugged his shoulders."

The portable toilet was at the rear of the building, which is being remodeled as the new offices of Pennsylvania Counseling Services. Miller said he thinks Hunter was trapped for about 30 minutes before his yells for help alerted someone who called 911.

Because of the human waste and the formaldehyde-based chemicals in the toilet, rescuers had to put on biohazard suits to rescue Hunter, Miller said. Rescue workers used liquid soap and a saw to cut away the plastic toilet, and Hunter was freed after about 25 minutes.

"He was wedged in tight, so we systematically had to cut pieces of the toilet away so we did not cause further harm to him," Miller recalled.


"After he was released, the subject then had to be decontaminated before he could be presented to (paramedics) so he could be evaluated and treated for scrapes and abrasions around his hips."

Police Chief Bill Harvey said Hunter admitted to having seven beers at a local establishment before becoming stuck.

"This defies sober logic," Harvey said.

Hunter was charged with public drunkenness, police said, while Miller cited Hunter with creating a health-code violation.

Hunter could not be reached for comment.