A Miami restaurant employee, Eduardo Sanchez, 43, is facing video voyeurism charges after he was caught recording a 13-year-old boy using the restroom at a restaurant, according to NBC Miami. Last Friday, a young boy came into The Knife Steak House where Sanchez worked — located at 401 Biscayne Boulevard at the Bayside Marketplace — with his family, but moments after his family was seated, he left the table to use the restroom.
After entering the men’s restroom, the boy — whose name has not been released — went into the handicap stall and heard someone walking into the stall adjacent to him. As he sat on the toilet, he told police officials that he heard someone turning on their phone. As he looked up, he saw someone holding a white cell-phone over the stall and pointing it in his direction. The boy began to scream and threaten to call the police if he didn’t stop recording him as he used the facilities. That’s when Sanchez tried to open the boy’s stall, but was unsuccessful and ultimately left the restroom to go back to work.
Bayside employee arrested for recording a 13-year-old boy in a bathroom stall http://t.co/bB9ZiMdE6r pic.twitter.com/FADEYK4Cwb
— WSVN 7 News (@wsvn) October 19, 2015
However, before the quick-thinking boy left the lavatory, he called his father from his cell-phone and informed him what the worker had done. Although he never saw a face, he was able to identify the perpetrator by his shoes and clothing. The boy’s father then walked up to Sanchez and asked to see his cell-phone, but he refused and a scuffle ensued. During the struggle, Sanchez’s cell-phone fell to the floor and was retrieved by the restaurant’s manager, who later handed it over to the police, according to CBS Local.
“What it was, was a pair of black and white sneakers and remembering that the phone in itself was white was what helped us find this man inside that restaurant,” said Kenia Fallat with the Miami Police Department.
“The child was not just astute, but very observant but he was also well aware of his surroundings. He looks up and he clearly can see a cellphone and someone’s hand over it. Now that’s where he started screaming, calling for his dad.”
“He recalled the shoes the person had on and the color of the cellphone, and that is how we were able to identify who the person was,” Fallat added. Police officials have since commended the victim for knowing what to do in such a scary situation, saying “He was taught very well, and that is precisely why we were able to finish this investigation.”
Miami police officials uncovered the video of the young boy on the toilet in Sanchez’s phone, and he was arrested on one count of video voyeurism on a child younger than 16. While in police custody, he admitted to filming the boy as he used the restroom and “zoomed in to take a look at the child’s genitals,” but he did so “out of curiosity and planned to delete the images later.” Sources say Sanchez “didn’t want to go in full detail” about what transpired in the bathroom, but he has apologized several times for his actions. “I am very, very sorry for the family of the guy. At my work, everybody, I’m sorry,” he said.
When Sanchez appeared in court over the weekend, the judge told him that he’s certain he no longer has a job at The Knife Steak House after his arrest, and therefore, “At this point I assume you’ll be terminated, so I’ll appoint the public defender to represent you.”
Sanchez was booked into the Miami-Dade County jail, but was later released on a $7,500 bond. If Sanchez is found guilty of the crime, he could face up to 15 years in prison.
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