A West Kendall restaurant manager is facing criminal charges after police say a customer found a secret video camera installed in the women’s bathroom.
Detectives believe that Hajime Maruyana — after being alerted by the angry customer — pocketed and hid the camera’s memory chip before police officers arrived.
Maruyana, 42, was charged with tampering with evidence in a video voyeurism investigation, and resisting arrest without violence. His arraignment is set for March 28.
If detectives uncover more evidence, Maruyana could be charged with video voyeurism.
He is the manager at La Perla restaurant on the 13700 block of Southwest 152nd Street. An employee at the restaurant said Tuesday that Maruyuana was unavailable because he is on vacation. His court case docket does not list a defense lawyer.
Last Friday night, according to a newly released arrest report, Betsy Morales took her toddler daughter to the restroom at the Peruvian restaurant. Inside, she noticed a “small device” attached to the pipe underneath the sink facing the toilet.
She pried the device from the pipe and a small orange-and-white digital memory card fell from the camera. Morales took the camera to her husband seated inside the restaurant and they researched the device on the Internet. They discovered the camera was motion activated.
“Concerned for what the recorder might have captured,” the couple notified the staff, according to the arrest report.
That’s when Maruyana “without hesitation took the recording device” from the couple and walked away. Morales followed, demanding to see what images that camera had recorded.
Maruyana “became very nervous” and began pacing around the restaurant “as if attempting to get away” from Morales, the report said. She lost sight of him for a few brief moments.
When Maruyana finally agreed to plug the camera into a restaurant computer, it showed nothing — but Morales noticed that the chip was now missing.
“I didn’t do it,” Maruyana stammered when questioned by Morales about the missing chip, the report said.
By the time cops eventually arrived, Maruyana had an unnamed attorney by his side and declined to talk to officers, the report said.
Miami-Dade detectives later served a search warrant, retrieving surveillance footage that corroborated the chain of events described by Morales, her husband and witnesses.