Monday, January 18, 2016
Major Hate Crime Leads To CCTV Cameras In Bathroom.....
I'll highlight the "hate crime"....
CHICOPEE -- Police are investigating the installation of a camera discovered by patrons Sunday night in the men's room of the Pride truck stop on Burnett Road. <<<LINK
A Pride official said the chain installed the camera, which has since been taken down, to counter "hate crimes" occurring within the men's room at the 363 Burnett Road facility.
A truck driver discovered the dome-style camera mounted in the ceiling not far from the toilet stalls, Greenfield lawyer Zoe Falken said.
"My client is sitting on the toilet and he looks up and sees a camera in the corner of the ceiling," said Falken. "This is absolutely egregious."
Richard Hoffner, director of operations for Pride, said in a statement issued Monday that the chain installed the camera on Friday "in an effort to apprehend someone actively doing hate crimes on our premises."
Hoffner said the camera was "in a common area and does not invade anyone's privacy....Our intention is to turn this over to the police as soon as the person re-commits the crime, then remove the camera. It is not a live feed, it is stored in a secure location where no one has access but our Security (Department)."
Falken said she is representing the truck driver and at least three other patrons who were also disturbed to find the camera in the bathroom.
The lawyer said CEO Robert Bolduc told one of her clients Sunday night that he had the camera installed because "he was sick of the anti-Obama graffiti that keeps appearing in his bathroom."
The men's room in question also has a shower area, Falken said, adding there were no signs indicating that a camera was on the premises.
Michael Wilk, public information officer for the Chicopee Police Department, said police were summoned to facility shortly before 7 p.m.
"It's still being investigated," Wilk said. "Our (detectives) took pictures of it and they are following up on it."
Wilk said Pride employees covered up the camera after patrons complained. He said it's not clear if any images have been recovered from the camera.
Hoffner said the publicity following the discovery of the camera "probably stopped the hate crime problem on our premises, but unfortunately the person may move to another public space."
He said no cameras have been installed in any other Pride facility bathrooms.