MECHANICSVILLE (WRIC) - A Mechanicsville restaurant owner is facing charges after installing a camera inside the men's room.
Dennis Smith has owned the Calabash Seafood Restaurant in Mechanicsville for more than 34 years. He says during that time, people have vandalized the men's room. He says over the summer, someone went too far and did a thousand dollars in damage including ripping a urinal off the wall.
"That was the straw that broke the camel's back," Smith says. "I decided then that enough was enough."
Smith installed a security camera in the bathroom to deter anyone from destroying it, but the move caused an uproar among some customers and eventually lead to an investigation after a customer ripped it down and was charged with vandalism.
Smith says while the camera was located above the stall, it wasn't recording anything private.
"[You] could only see the faces coming in and if you did any destruction in that area we could see it, anybody standing at the urinal, it was cropped out and blacked out."
But Wednesday, a grand jury indicted smith, charging him with unlawful filming of another. Smith says he never recorded anything private and did what he thought he had to do to prevent vandals from striking again.
"I just don't have thousand dollar bills every couple months just to allow a customer to come in and destroy the bathroom."
Copyright 2013 by Young Broadcasting of Richmond
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