NORTH MASSAPEQUA, N.Y. (CBSNewYork) – A Massapequa man is accused of taking unauthorized pictures of an 8-year-old girl at an ice cream store.
The incident happened at the Mad Topper ice cream shop on Hicksville Road shortly after 8 p.m. Thursday.
An off-duty Nassau County police officer saw Richard Stacel, 44, on line at the store taking pictures with his cellphone of the girl without her knowledge, police said.
“What the officer observed, it’s safe to say that he was attempting to take lewd photographs of the 8-year-old girl right outside what we would consider normal photographs in public,” Nassau County Police Inspector Kenneth Lack said.
For the safety of the customers, the officer waited until Stacel left the store before approaching him and identifying himself as a policeman.
Stacel then got into a struggle with the officer during which he tried to break his phone in half and remove the memory card, Lack said.
Stacel managed to get into his car but the officer blocked him from closing the door and leaving the scene, police said.
He then tried reaching for his center console where police said they later found a stun gun.
Officers from the Seventh Precinct arrived and placed Stacel under arrest.
No injuries were reported.
Stacel is charged with possession of a dangerous weapon and endangering the welfare of a child.