RIVERVIEW, Fla. (WFLA) — Hillsborough County Sheriff’s Office detectives say they had reason to follow James McEwen into a Publix women’s restroom Wednesday afternoon.
They’d previously received a complaint McEwen recorded a woman using a toilet, according to the Hillsborough County Sheriff’s Office.
At the Publix off 301 in Riverview Wednesday, McEwen wasted no time trying to repeat the offense, detectives said. “He went straight to the women’s bathroom, and, of course, that was a red flag for her knowing his prior history,” Det. Larry McKinnon with the Hillsborough County Sheriff’s Office said.
The undercover female deputy followed McEwen and went inside a stall, with McEwen next door. “She could see a cell phone bobbing around the bottom of the stalls. So she started pulling out her own surveillance equipment she had on her,” McKinnon said.
Detectives say that deputy recorded McEwen, who lives across the street from the Publix, as he recorded her in the toilet stall.
McEwen is charged with video voyeurism, which is a felony. He’s currently out on bond.
Officials say McEwen admitted he’s done this kind of thing before. “We believe that there may be other victims out there right now, so we’re looking at his cell phone after executing a search warrant,” McKinnon said.
Identifying potential victims could be difficult.
Publix plaza shoppers were disturbed by the case. “It’s horrific. That’s uncalled for; that’s gross. I don’t know what else to say. Who does that?” Alison Masekos said.
“I don’t know why they do it, how they even get, go about doing it. But it’s just not right,” Andy Dixon said.
“I am glad that they found him and they stopped him, because that’s a violation of a female’s rights,” Karen Speicher said.