Hampton beachgoers snatch camera hidden in Gatorade bottle from 'sketchy' man
HAMPTON — Beachgoers were disturbed by a man found using a hidden camera to take inappropriate close-up photos and video of women and girls at Hampton Beach this past weekend, but police said filming people in public is not a crime.
Hampton Police Deputy Chief David Hobbs told Seacoastonline.com officers received a report from Hampton Beach State Park officials Saturday afternoon about a man using a camera. He said police have a camera in their possession but would go into no further detail about the camera.
However, a woman posted on Facebook Sunday that she saw a "sketchy and suspicious man with his eyes glued to his phone" and holding a black Gatorade bottle at the beach Saturday. She wrote that a “brave woman” snatched the bottle out of the man's hand and tore it apart to find a video camera installed inside it. The man ran away, according to the post.
The woman who posted on Facebook said she got to view the photos and there were “multiple inappropriate pictures and videos” showing "close up shots of my body in different places like he had been following very close behind."
The camera also contained shots of young girls from the beach, including children, she wrote.
Hobbs could not comment on the investigation Monday, but he said it is not illegal to film people at the beach. He would not comment on where the line is between legal filming and breaking privacy laws.
“It is somewhat disturbing,” Hobbs told Seacoastonline.com. “We have taken a report, done an investigation on it, but it’s not illegal to be on the beach with a camera. It’s a public place. It’s a state park.”
Hobbs said that beachgoers are encouraged to contact the police directly if they believe their privacy has been violated.