HOUSTON – Maria Pelayo said she was showering in the women’s-only locker room at the 24-Hour Fitness in Rice Village in September last year when she noticed a hand holding a cellphone under the shower stall.
“I shouted to him and stuck my head out and I saw him run away. I also saw him look back so I saw his profile and the clothes he was wearing,” Pelayo said.
Pelayo claims the man with the phone was dressed similar to a 24-Hour Fitness employee.
She said she got dressed, went to the front desk, talked to an employee, explained what happened and asked to see security camera footage in hopes of identifying the man. She said she was told she’d be able to do so.
A few minutes later, Pelayo claims, a manager told her he couldn’t grant her request because the cameras weren’t working.
“This incident, the way it was handled by 24-Hour Fitness, made me feel completely violated, not important, unsafe at the gym and in my everyday life,” Pelayo said.
Pelayo is suing 24-Hour Fitness and the manager for failing to keep the facility secure.
She claims her privacy was violated at a gym that prides itself on safety and the different security measures it advertises and markets to its customers.
“Why did the safety measures that she was paying for fail? 24-Hour Fitness had offered no answers to those questions,” said attorney Ciro Samperi.
24-Hour Fitness released this statement to KPRC:
“We are aware of an incident that took place in our 24-Hour Fitness Houston Rice Village club located at 2500 Dunston Road in which a female club member reported an encounter that concerned her while she was in the women’s locker room. Due to privacy considerations, we cannot provide further information.”