NEW PORT RICHEY, Fla. (AP) — Felicia Nevins called police after worrying the thermos she was using to store sperm and dry ice in for her artificial insemination could have exploded.
Nevins hadn’t even told her family about her fertility journey, but she says the sheriff’s office posted the story on its Facebook page after the incident and a news crew showed up at her door.
The Pasco Sheriff’s Office posted a short explanation of what happened using a stock photo of a woman with a disgusted expression. They didn’t use Nevins’ name, but she said there were enough details — her age, location and time of the incident — for reporters and curious citizens to figure out who she was by searching public records.
“I didn’t want any of this,” she told the Tampa Bay Times (https://tinyurl.com/n39d942).
It started on Wednesday after the 26-year-old called the sheriff’s non-emergency line because she forgot to remove the thermos’ rubber O-ring, meaning the container could have exploded.
She said a deputy and firefighters arrived, took the thermos away and safely opened it. She said they were kind and didn’t tell her nosy neighbors what happened.
“The officer told them it was a private matter,” Nevins said, “and he treated it as a private matter.”
After the Facebook post by the sheriff’s office, a TV news crew appeared on her doorstep with a camera. She spoke to them, but declined to identify herself. She said she spoke to the Tampa Bay Times on the record Friday because her name is “already out there.”
The sheriff’s Facebook post was shared more than 200 times by Friday. The sheriff’s office has said it’s part of its social media strategy.
“We attempt to show every day what our officers see in calls and we are a very open agency about the types of calls we see each day,” Pasco Sheriff Chris Nocco said in a statement. “This was a very unique call faced by our officers as well as Pasco fire fighters … make no mistake, this was a potentially dangerous situation … we are grateful that no damage was done.”
The Sheriff’s Office later defended their actions in a statement, saying they never publicly release names or identifying information.
Information from: Tampa Bay Times (St. Petersburg, Fla.), http://www.tampabay.com.