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D.A.: Sleepy Hollow Man Took Lewd Images Under Women's Skirts at Target

Jose Piedra was arraigned in Westchester County Court on 14 counts of unlawful surveillance.

A Sleepy Hollow man was arraigned Tuesday in Westchester County Court on charges of recording images under women's skirts in the .

Jose Piedra, 48, of Kendall Ave. was observed on Aug. 22, 2011, by Target store security placing his cellphone under unsuspecting female shoppers' skirts and taking pictures and video, according to the Westchester County District Attorney's Office. Security alerted White Plains police, who watched the store's surveillance video and were able to locate Piedra still in the store continuing his actions.

“When they returned to the security office, police were informed the defendant had been observed repeating his actions with another woman while police were looking for him,” said Westchester District Attorney Janet DiFiore.

After obtaining a warrant, police found several video clips on Piedra's phone. 

Piedra was charged with 14 counts of second-degree Unlawful Surveillance, a class "E" felony, "relating to the illegal photographing of a person’s intimate parts for his own sexual purposes," said DiFiore.

Piedra could face up to four years in state prison for each count against him. He is scheduled to appear in County Court on May 8. The case will be prosecuted by Assistant District Attorney Michelle Lopez, Deputy Chief of the Sex Crimes Bureau.

Note: This information does not indicate a conviction.

jeff meyer April 13, 2012 at 02:40 PM
Because certain managing editors at THE PATCH are more concerned about protecting the rights of anonymous bigots that constantly flood and rule this web site then they are about applying fair journalistic standards. Jeff Meyer Tuckahoe, NY
Katie Ryan O'Connor April 13, 2012 at 04:00 PM
Hi Jeff, If you have any concerns about any comment, please let me know. I can be reached at kathleen@patch.com for the fastest response. You (and all our readers) should know that we've empowered you to flag any comment you find inappropriate, it's the gray writing just above your comment. It's there right now. If enough of you agree, it disappears. We also list the email and phone numbers of our local editors so you can discuss any issues you may have with the editor directly.
Katie Ryan O'Connor April 13, 2012 at 04:03 PM
And as for the address: it is fairly routine for police to release ages and addresses, full or partial, on police blotter, to avoid mistaken identity. If I write Jeff Smith of Eastchester was arrested, there are likely several who fit that bill. Not everyone has a supremely unique name.
lpdowdell@gmail.com April 13, 2012 at 07:13 PM
I happen to know this person. He is not what the DA or media projected him to be and the story is twisted. This person has been a target of discrimination attacks by the policy because of his hispanic heritage. He was recently brutally attacked by the police. While he was fixing a small kids motored cycle on his street, he was followed by the same cop who arrested him, followed him to his second floor apartment which has outside stairs, handcuffed him and pushed him down the stairs. His son was devasted to see his father fall down the stairs and tried to help him. His son, a nice kid who volunteers for the fire department was arrested for trying to help Jose and was charged with felony.
lpdowdell@gmail.com April 13, 2012 at 07:14 PM
the cops in Sleepy Hollow discriminate hispanic individuals. I think Spanish people should get together and protest against police brutality.
lpdowdell@gmail.com April 13, 2012 at 07:20 PM
Sleepy Hollow Police discriminating against Spanish residents I happen to know this person. He is not what the DA or media projected him to be and the story is twisted. This person has been a target of discrimination attacks by the policy because of his Hispanic heritage. Jose Luis Piedra was testing a bike (kid’s motored bike) with his son by his street address. The cops followed him and harassed him to his apartment. A police officer hit Jose and hand cuffed him. While hand cuffed, the cop pushed Jose and fell down the stairs. Jose blacked out and his son tried to assist him. Jose was taken to the hospital. Jose got released from the hospital, and the cops took him to jail. His son was also arrested and both charged with felony charges. Now the cops, the same one who arrested him once—by the way with false claims of intoxication, is claiming that Jose resisted arrest and had assaulted a police officer, and some other charges. The officer is lying in claiming that he got injured because of Jose. The officer is heavy in size. Jose and his son claim that they are both being discriminated and targeted. The entire family, his wife, son, and daughter, are very devastated about the Sleepy Hollow town, with cops chasing Spanish people around. Jose is a welder and can hardly support his family
Aidan April 13, 2012 at 07:25 PM
Jeff, everyone has certain rights ... even bigots. It's part of that "messy democracy" thingy.
lpdowdell@gmail.com April 13, 2012 at 07:31 PM
I would like to obtain petitions to change the law about new legal immigrants: to grant them some training to teach them about basic understanding of the law. I think many immigrants get in trouble with the law because they don't understand basic USA rules. Simple mistakes like driving with an opened bottle of beer in the car can get them in trouble. When legal immigrants come to the United States, they face numerous arrests before they understand what they should not do.
lpdowdell@gmail.com April 13, 2012 at 10:00 PM
very irresponsible! I agree.
Fair N Balanced April 14, 2012 at 12:34 PM
Ignorance is no excuse. Under any circumstances.
jeff meyer April 14, 2012 at 01:25 PM
Aidan, I have no problem with that. My issue is with certain PATCH editors that are quite selective with the posts they delete. If someone makes a bigoted post that is fine. If I call said person a bigot my post is removed and I am rebuked by Ms. Gentes-Hunt. Double standard!! I never use profanity and the PATCH knows who I am. The PATCH coddles anonymous, bigoted rants yet when I call said individuals out on their posts I am deleted. Also, everyone of my posts is "pending approval". Is that the same for you?? JM Tuckahoe, NY
Krista Madsen (Editor) April 14, 2012 at 02:03 PM
Thank you for sharing the other side of the story (as there is always another side). I know this motorbike story from the police reports but hadn't heard another perspective on it. But I wonder how anyone from whatever country would think that going under women's skirts with a cell phone is acceptable? That's not a cultural difference...
jeff meyer April 14, 2012 at 04:05 PM
Thank you Katie. Personally I take no issue with the contents of this article. A crime is alleged. The information is reported. Mr. Piedra is presumed innocent until proven guilty. My issue is when other (anonymous) bloggers post to the effect that he is probably a "illegal". Is that the issue here? When I point out the bigotry of said comments why is my post removed and the bigoted remark remains posted for 24 hours? I have no problem with free speech or criticism. What I take issue with are editors with double standards. I have no problem mixing it up with anyone in terms of debate. Yet my remarks are "pending approval". Why? Are the gazillion right wing, anonymous, tea partying bigots who flood the PATCH also "pending approval"? Jeff Meyer Tuckahoe, NY
lpdowdell@gmail.com April 15, 2012 at 01:29 AM
Krista, there is always the other side of the story. Obviously it is not acceptable but who said that is exactly what happened? He has a lawyer.
former customer April 15, 2012 at 10:46 AM
I think many immigrants get in trouble with the law because they don't understand basic USA rules......... Why, do you think those born here do? Puhleeze. On this thing with the camera, though - can Krista or someone explain to me: a. who wears skirts these days? and 2. how someone (unless he concocted a camera on his shoe as in another reported case and I can't figure that one out either) can GET on the GROUND, POINT a camera phone UP a woman's skirt (again, WHO wears skirts?) and take a picture, much less a video? Man oh man, what a world.
Chris Clement April 15, 2012 at 11:53 AM
Someone wrote 'Are the gazillion right wing, anonymous, tea partying bigots who flood the PATCH ...' ... Painting all anonymous bloggers with a broad brush as right-wing bigots may be your opinion, but it's an untrue statement. How do all of us know you are REALLY 'jeff meyer' just because you post things under that name? Please post your cell phone # so we can double check you are who you say you are. All people who are arrested are supposed to be considered innocent until proven guilty. But this won't stop people from posting insulting remarks. What upsets me is that after a person is proven innocent of charges (happens every day) that newspapers don't write stories about it. Wouldn't make any difference to the person arrested, however, because their name and reputation is already smeared. Now if persons arrested could use anonymous names, THAT would be interesting!
Walden Macnair April 15, 2012 at 01:21 PM
I would like to point out to you folks that nowhere in this article does it say he is an immigrant, either legal or illegal. Please don't assume because someone has a hispanic name that they are immigrants of either kind.
jeff meyer April 15, 2012 at 02:19 PM
Chris Clement, you assume that I care what others believe as to my name. My reasons for signing my name to every opinion I post are my own. Why does that concern you? Free speech is free speech. If my opinions are offensive then ignore them. As long as they are absent of profanity (which is always the case) it should be posted. I stand by my opinions. Do you stand by yours? Perhaps that is what your main concern should be. JM Tuckahoe, NY
jeff meyer April 15, 2012 at 02:20 PM
THANK YOU! JM Tuckahoe, NY
former customer April 15, 2012 at 02:35 PM
Good point, Walden. Someone assumed (you know what happens when you assume) and the mob mentality took over. Voi-la. Now can you figure out how he got the camera up those skirts (WHO wears skirts?) and took VIDEO? He's still a DB for doing that, native, immigrant, or otherwise.
yoga4robert@hotmail.com April 15, 2012 at 03:38 PM
Target has one of the largest security/store video surveillence centers in the world. They want shoppers to have a safe shopping experience. If he is caught with video on HIS cellphone it doesn't take a rocket scientist to figure out this guy is a menace.
Krista Madsen (Editor) April 15, 2012 at 04:30 PM
Can't speak to the skirt question - I guess there were women in the store that day wearing them! - but wouldn't take getting on the ground to (discreetly, one would suppose) hold a cell phone under someone's skirt.
The Pope From TV April 15, 2012 at 06:00 PM
There are so many circumstances in which I could believe that police brutality and outright racial profiling have taken a toll on a man's reputation and life in this country. There are so many more circumstances in which I truly do adhere to the "innocent until proven guilty" frame of mind, because of such instances of brutality, profiling, or even just police misconduct or errors made by law enforcement personnel. This is neither of those. It's one thing to be accused of being intoxicated, which after a day or so of sitting in jail can never be proven or disproven... it's completely different for a man to be accused of recording video from a cellphone under a woman's skirt, claiming that Target security eye-witnessed this first-hand, claiming it was caught on security footage that the police then eye-witnessed first-hand, and then claiming that recorded video footage was found on his cellphone after his arrest. If the police have it in for Mr. Piedra because of his Hispanic background, and if the evidence *appears* sound, they sure went through a lot of trouble to fabricate at least two eye-witnesses, surveillance video, and multiple videos of unsuspecting women to upload to his phone (which can easily be authenticated through a data test to determine what exact time to the second they were taken, thus indicating his possession or lack thereof of his cellphone at the time the recordings happened).
lpdowdell@gmail.com April 15, 2012 at 07:54 PM
Exactly!
lpdowdell@gmail.com April 15, 2012 at 07:58 PM
The women in his camera could have been pictures of his wife. We are assuming too much here. How could a person take a picture of a woman by going to the floor to take a picture and the woman did not call the police? Why the woman did not scream or told him off when he took the pictures? This is an exagerate story.
Aintthatascam April 15, 2012 at 08:32 PM
Chasing spanish people around, are you kidding me? Have you been to the Sleepy Hollow courthouse on court day, it's 98% hispanic and latino violators, your comment is stupid.
lpdowdell@gmail.com April 15, 2012 at 08:53 PM
I would say that abou 99% are latinos and blacks. There is a serious discrimination problem in SLEEPY HOLLOW. Cops are everywhere waiting for you to give you a ticket. Driving to SLEEPY HOLLOW is like driving through HELL. Spanish and blacks are TARGETS. They are easy tickets for the cops -- especially if hispanics do not speak English. They will arrest you
Aintthatascam April 15, 2012 at 09:06 PM
Don't mix blacks in with your figures and try to pull a race card. You want to, okay then, the other 1%, in court are "others" including, as you like to say, blacks. The fact is that Sleepy Hollow's hispanic population is HUGE, so of course there will be more Hispanic violators than any other race, that's 3rd grade math. Another thing, if you think it is a serious issue, why don't you contact the FBI? if it's that bad, maybe Jose, et al, should move?
lpdowdell@gmail.com April 15, 2012 at 09:22 PM
for Aintthatascam's comment since I could not reply to it: So, if there are many latinos and blacks, 1) what are you, then, white, indian, minority? Why is the cops majority white -- check your math!
former customer April 16, 2012 at 11:19 AM
That was my question. But apparently there are other instances like this - one guy had a 'shoe camera' (he should be working for NASA, never mind being a perv) - so it IS possible. I too would think a woman would notice a perv on the floor, but if the perv is behind them, who knows? I can't recall, is the space between the merchandise limited at Target? He could possibly hide in the clothing and get underneath their skirts that way. I guess one of the morals of the story: if you're going shopping, wear pants. Pictures of his wife? And he's a deacon in his church and feeds stray puppies and kitties? He was 'observed' by Target security. Did Target security have it in for him? Was he known to the Target security guy and he had a beef with him? But let's not make a saint out of the guy until we know all the facts. There are plenty of pervs out there, IF he is another of them, lock him up and throw away the key. NO, we don't know all the facts, and there are three sides: his, the police, and the truth.

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