Northland man charged with recording woman in Price Chopper toilet
PARKVILLE, Mo. (KCTV) – A Northland man’s phone could be the key to how many women have been caught on camera using a public bathroom.
Bruno Alejandro Barrera, 29, is charged with invasion of privacy after he was caught filming a woman in a bathroom stall at the Price Chopper where he worked.
A police affidavit says he told police he filmed at least eight different women. Police have yet to review the video to determine how many different people are depicted. A search warrant was granted to retrieve the phone data.
“We have uploaded this data and it will be reviewed tomorrow,” Parkville Police Capt. Jon Jordan said Wednesday.
Barrera is currently charged with one count of invasion of privacy. Court documents allege it happened last Thursday at the Price Chopper in Parkville just before 1:30 p.m.
A 61-year-old woman said she was using the restroom near the deli when she noticed something strange. She saw a pair of feet in the next stall, but instead of facing the door, they were facing her stall. She looked up and saw a cell phone camera.
The woman paid attention to the shoes and hat she saw in the nearby stall. Then she saw a man working the charcuterie with the same people.
“She recognized the hat and the shoes that person was wearing, and that’s how we identified the suspect,” Jordan said.
She immediately called the police. They arrived and spoke to Barrera in an office at work. After waiving his Miranda rights, he “confessed [the] reported incident, as well as [with] at least eight other similar incidents at the store involving different women,” according to a police statement filed in court.
When brought to the police station, he says he admitted to “using the recorded footage for his own enjoyment”.
“Unfortunately, with almost everyone carrying a phone with a camera and the ability to film on it, we see it far too often,” Platte County District Attorney Eric Zahnd noted.
He described the pursuit of cases involving such actions not only in toilets, but also in locker rooms, massage businesses and – once – in a woman’s own bedroom.
“I urge people to be aware of your surroundings when you can. Honestly, there’s no way to fully protect yourself against this, as we’ve also had instances where cameras have been hidden in things where you honestly wouldn’t know they were there,” Zahnd said.
Jordan suggested a few things to look out for, particularly in the restroom, much of which echoes what the victim in this case noticed.
“Be aware of [who] sits next to you, or if there is noise next to you, look and see where their feet go. And be aware of the stand you’re using itself,” Jordan suggested.
He noted that choosing the stall closest to the wall provides fewer access points for someone hiding.
“If it goes all over the floor and all the way up to the ceiling, you only have to worry about a door,” he said.
KCTV5 has reached out to Price Chopper for comment but has yet to receive a response.
Barrera is now out of prison and living with a relative, but he must wear a GPS monitoring device and only leave for “the necessities of life”. He was also ordered not to go to Price Chopper’s premises.
If the police identify other people in their phone videos, additional charges could be made. One of the people he allegedly admitted to recording is another store employee. Zahnd said while they don’t have names, just clearly different people, they can still charge him with additional counts for each victim.
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