HOUSTON – There’s a certain level of privacy that’s to be expected when using the restroom, even at public shopping centers.
Ninteen-year-old Thomas James Parison is behind bars after Houston police say he violated that safe space and tried to record other men using the bathroom at the Galleria mall.
We spoke to several people near the mall about the allegations, including Patrick Debose, who says he’s worked at the Galleria for 10 years and says he’s going be more vigilant going to the restroom.
“This is very shocking to me. I mean, sometimes you don’t even feel safe going to your car,” Debose said. “I just wish people wouldn’t do stuff like this.”
According to Houston police, last Friday, Parison followed a man into the Nordstrom restroom. They say a witness saw Parison putting a cell phone under the stall the unsuspecting man was in.
“You can’t offensively go after somebody else without them knowing,” said Tim Flanagan who was walking nearby.
Officials say the witness called 911. Parison tried to run, but investigators say the witness was able to push him down so that police could catch him.
The story caught the attention of several shoppers off guard.
“There has to be boundaries. There has to be respect,” said Jonathan Ruiz. “I mean, I can’t believe people would do something like that.”
Parison has been charged with the felony of invasive visual recording and is due in court on Tuesday. He has a bond set at $5,000, which if posted states in the conditions that he can’t contact the victim or go back to the store.