Monday, September 19, 2011

Camera Found in Starbucks Bathroom

Our next story is about Starbucks and a hidden camera.
A Virginia man says when his daughter used the bathroom at the Starbucks in Penn Quarter, she saw a hidden camera pointed directly at the toilet.

So, a civil has been filed by William Yockey against the Starbucks coffee location at 7th Street Northwest, blocks from the National Mall. (photo below)

Yockey said he was with his his family when they stopped in the Starbucks.
Yockey said his daughter went to use the bathroom and while
washing her hands, Yockey said his daughter discovered the camera.

The camera was a small, Coby brand digital video camera, placed in the U-shaped drainpipe. The lens of the digital camera was pointed towards the toilet.
Yockey said the camera was still on when he pulled it from beneath the sink and brought it to the Starbucks manager to confront her. He said the manager seemed shocked and called the police to investigate.
But she did offer the dad a free cup of coffee, really.

After the D.C. police arrived, the bathroom was roped off, and the camera was taken as evidence in a criminal investigation.

Yockey wants $1 million in the civil suit on four counts, including invasion of privacy and emotional distress.

"Myself, I can't go to a public restroom without giving it a thorough scan," Yockey Said. "My daughter is 5, it's embarrassing that she has to look for a camera before she uses the bathroom."

Starbucks released the following statement on the incident:
"We take our obligation to provide a safe environment for our customers and partners (employees) very seriously. Our store partners took swift action as soon as they became aware of the issue -- immediately alerting the police department and assisting in the investigation. We continue to cooperate fully with law enforcement on this matter; however, because there is pending litigation, we cannot comment on the specifics of this case. However, we can tell you that as a part of regular store operations, we monitor the seating areas and rest rooms in our stores on a regular basis to identify potential safety or security concerns."

The five year old's mother is still furious and there're suing Starbucks because they failed to clean the restroom and failed to do the most obvious kind of checks for hidden cameras.

"It's completely unethical. It's disgusting. And the fact that the manager didn't know what to do. 'I don't know, would you like a free coffee?' is really really pathetic," she told she said.

The camera captured a blurry, unidentifiable image of the man who may have placed it there. Police haven't been able to find him.

The girl's mother said about her lawsuit: "It's not about money. It's that they need to take a stand and do what's right and take care of stuff."

But they'll take the money just the same, if they win.