A bathroom is supposed to be a place of privacy. But, more than a dozen unsuspecting women had that privacy violated at a popular Panama City Beach restaurant.
"We don't see it a lot," said Major Tommy Ford. "But, I mean it does occur and when it does it's disturbing."
29-year-old Michael Dunning was arrested Wednesday after his wife made a discovery in their home. A camera containing hours of video revealed Dunning had taped the woman's stall at Pineapple Willy's restaurant.
"We believe he was accessing a closet that was adjacent to the bathroom and in some manner being able to point the video through the ceiling area," said Ford.
Investigators tell News13 Dunning was mainly targeting woman he knew at Pineapple Willy's, other employees, around twelve total. Major Tommy Ford says about half of those victims have been identified.
"We believe the video is confined to the handicapped stall in the bathroom and we believe some of the employees were changes clothes in there," said Ford.
Investigators believe it was going on for quite sometime, in the neighborhood of around two years. Major Tommy Ford says another search warrant was served at Dunning's home and computers was taken into evidence.
"At this point there are no indications that he stored them on the computer or shared them with anyone or uploaded those videos on the Internet," said Major Ford.
Since some of the images on the camera appear to be of underage victims, additional charges are possible according to the Bay County Sheriff's Office.
Pineapple Willy's Owner Bill Buskell released a statement after Dunning's arrest:
We at Pineapple Willy's were shocked to learn of these acts from Law Enforcement. We had no reason to believe anything like this was occurring at our establishment. We have been cooperating completely with investigators to assure that this never happens again in the future. These actions, in no part, are a reflections of Pineapple Willy's, and are just as upsetting to us as they are to everyone else. - Bill Buskell
The Bay County Sheriff's Office arrested Michael Edward Dunning on November 6, 2013, after investigating a complaint that Dunning had videotaped unsuspecting women using a restroom at a local restaurant.
Investigators obtained a video camera owned by Dunning when his wife found it in their home while cleaning. She viewed images on the camera and recognized they were taken in the restroom of Pineapple Willy's Restaurant on Panama City Beach. Dunning worked at the restaurant. She immediately turned the camera over to authorities.
Subsequent investigation indicated the suspect Dunning had hidden the camera and was using it to record images of women in various stages of undress while using the restroom. It appears at this time that only the handicapped stall in the ladies restroom was captured on video.
A search warrant was executed at Dunning's home this morning, November 7, 2013, and his computer has been seized. A forensic examination will be done on the computer.
The owner of the restaurant has cooperated fully with investigators and there is no indication at this time anyone else working at the restaurant is involved.
Dunning stated to investigators he was responsible for the images on the camera and that he stored them only on the camera.
Michael Edward Dunning, DOB 9/21/84, of 764 N. Longwood Circle, Panama City was taken to the Bay County Jail and booked on two counts of Video Voyeurism. Since some of the images on the camera appear to be of underage victims, additional charges are possible. The investigation continues.
Information provided by the Bay County Sheriff's Office
Here is statement from Bill Buskell, owner of Pineapple Willy's
This statement is from Bill Buskell, Owner of Pineapple Willy's Inc.
We at Pineapple Willy's were shocked to learn of these acts from Law Enforcement. We had no reason to believe anything like this was occurring at our establishment. We have been cooperating completely with investigators to assure that this never happens again in the future. These actions, in no part, are a reflections of Pineapple Willy's, and are just as upsetting to us as they are to everyone else.