Applebee’s manager arrested and charged with voyeurism

Updated: 06/04/2014 5:21 PM | Created: 06/04/2014 5:19 PM
By: Lauren Hansard, KOB Eyewitness News 4

ROSWEL, NM- An Applebee’s manager accused of recording a customer using the restroom has been arrested and charged with voyeurism.

Applebee’s manager Ramon Chavez says he went inside the restroom to investigate after a customer reported vandalism.

He says he used his cell phone to look over the bathroom stall because he didn’t want to step on the toilet.

“So, I was looking around the whole bathroom when I reached into one of the stalls, I closed the door, looked on the top of the partitions just in case there was anything up there," said Chavez.

That’s where Aaron Ford was going to the bathroom.

Ford says he looked up and saw the cell phone recording him.

“Unbelievable, I had to do a double take,” said Ford.  “Out of the corner of my eye, I was like well did I really just see that? And then when I saw it, you know I definitely could see it because when I reached for it I could tell it was recording me." 

That’s when he confronted him.

“I came out of my stall and said hey man what's the issue? Why were you recording me? What’s the deal?  You have nowhere to go, come out of the stall, and I said well I’m going to be right outside this door when you come out.  You have nowhere to go, you’re going to get caught," said Ford.

“So, he got upset, knocked my phone then he walked outside,” said Chavez.  “I stood there for a minute and was like oh my gosh how am I going to explain this."

Ford says Chavez stayed in the bathroom for ten more minutes while he waited outside the door. 

"I was like sitting there thinking like how do I explain this without it getting out of control,” said Chavez. “There's just no way. I mean obviously he went to the police, and yeah."

Ford says when Chavez finally came out, he realized the man recording him was the manager of the restaurant. 

Chavez is charged with voyeurism.

“My employees know that I don't just hang around the bathroom trying to take video of people doing whatever their personal private time is," said Chavez. 

And Ford says things haven’t been the same.

"I still have that anxiety, I still really haven't went out to eat here other than fast food,” said Ford.  “I can’t have that comfortableness of sitting down in a restaurant now." 

A spokesperson for Applebee’s tells KOB Eyewitness News 4 they are still investigating.

Chavez continues to be suspended without pay.

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