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Man accused of hiding in women's bathroom to take photos

Posted at 11:51 AM, Mar 16, 2018
and last updated 2018-03-16 11:53:13-04

PORT CHARLOTTE, Fla. -- A Charlotte County man is accused of hiding inside a women's bathroom stall to secretly take photos of women in a Port Charlotte Publix.

Deputies say 23-year-old Erik Sockwell was seen on surveillance cameras entering the women's room of the store on S. McCall Road back on January 28.

Two women entered the restroom about five minutes later and went into the 2nd and 4th stalls.  That's when one of the women noticed hairy legs on a person in the 3rd stall and saw a cell phone positioned below the dividing walls.

The girls immediately left the restroom and told a store employee.  That employee saw Sockwell walk out of the restroom and recognized him as a regular customer who was wearing a "SuperDay" t-shirt.

A store manger was notified, but Sockwell had already left the store.

Deputies were called to the store, and after viewing the surveillance video, visited the SuperDay convenience store across the street from the Publix.  That's where they found Sockwell, who willingly gave up his cell phone.

During a warranted search of the phone, investigators found 13 photos of the two female victims in the bathroom.

Sockwell was arrested Wednesday and charged with Video Voyeurism and Violation of Probation.

He has several previous arrests for Aggravated Battery, Marijuana possession, driving without a valid license, and trespassing.