SAN ANTONIO – A man who was secretly recorded last month while using a bathroom at a popular San Antonio fast-food restaurant shared his story about the creepy encounter on Tuesday.
The victim, who is not being identified to protect his privacy, said he caught the suspect using a smartphone to take video of him on Nov. 13.
The suspect, Robert Garcia, 23, was an employee at the Taco Cabana at Wurzbach and Fredericksburg roads, where the incident occurred.
While using the restroom, the customer said he looked down and noticed something sticking out from under the stall next to him.
"I looked back down and I see the back of a camera phone hanging just underneath the bottom of the stall," the victim said. "I never thought in a million years I would be videotaped in a restroom."
The victim said he tried confronting Garcia, but he refused to leave the stall.
"He never spoke to me. He just laughed. He just kept laughing," the victim said. "In my frustration, I took a picture of him and said, 'Well how do you like it?'"
The victim said he complained to managers at the store. They looked at the picture he took of the suspect and managers identified Garcia as a Taco Cabana employee.
The victim said store managers refused to get involved.
"All she (the manager) could tell me was, 'Oh well, there's nothing we can do about it because he's not on the clock,'" the victim said. "He sat in there for a whole hour. He did not leave the restroom until the police got there."
According to a police report, Garcia eventually confessed to recording a video of the victim. He also admitted to recording several more videos of men in the bathroom that were found on his phone, the victim said.
"They found 14 other videos of him recording other men in the restroom all within about a month's span," the victim said.
Upset with the embarrassing situation and the way it was handled, the victim said he believes Taco Cabana should take more responsibility for Garcia's actions.
"This person represents you, they are the face of Taco Cabana. When I walk into the restaurant, this is who I see. So you're responsible just like they are," the victim said. "Basically what Taco Cabana has told me is they're not liable for anything that their employee has done. What if my son would have asked me to go to the restroom and he would have been the one in the urinal and (Garcia) was recording him?"
The victim said he complained to Taco Cabana's corporate offices and they apologized and offered to give him a gift card. He's now looking for a lawyer to take his case as he seeks compensation from the restaurant.
The Fiesta Restaurant Group, the parent company of Taco Cabana, provided this statement from Mark Phillips, Taco Cabana's interim chief operating officer:
“We obviously do not condone any behavior that violates the privacy of our guests, and have apologized to (the victim) that this happened at our restaurant. We have terminated the employee involved in this situation and are cooperating with authorities in their investigation.”
The San Antonio Police Department said the case is still under investigation and couldn't provide specifics about how many secret recordings were recovered from Garcia's phone or what's being done to contact the other men in the videos.
SAPD said anyone who believes they may have been secretly recorded by Garcia should contact the department's Special Victims Unit to make a report.
Garcia is charged with one count of invasive visual recording. He's out on bail.