Search warrant provides new details of alleged AFD locker room recording

Austin Fire Department Station No. 1 on East 5th St. built in 1938 - (Robert Maxwell, KXAN)
Austin Fire Department Station No. 1 on East 5th St. built in 1938 - (Robert Maxwell, KXAN)

AUSTIN (KXAN) — Search warrants have been issued to find evidence of whether a former lieutenant with the Austin Fire Department secretly recorded video of women in a fire station locker room at the beginning of September.

A search warrant was issued and executed Monday for an H2 Spy Camera and SD card allegedly belonging to the AFD lieutenant, who KXAN is not naming because he has not been charged with a crime. The city says the man, who worked at the Fire Station No. 1 in downtown Austin, recently retired, but an exact date wasn’t given.

According to the search warrant, a woman discovered a recording device in the locker room of the AFD fire station on Fifth Avenue. She gave it to her husband, who then turned it over to the Austin Police Department.

She told APD she saw the lieutenant walk out of the women’s shower room shortly before she went in to take a shower, according to the search warrant. When she came out of the shower, she saw a blue light pointing toward the shower area, and found it was a device nestled in a pile of Christmas lights. At that time she didn’t know for certain that it was a camera, but she told detectives she suspected it was.

She told police about seven hours after she took the device, the lieutenant asked if he could speak to her privately and said “I think you know what we need to talk about.”

“The victim said that’s when [the lieutenant] admitted that the camera she found belonged to him,” according to the search warrant. “The victim said [the lieutenant] apologized to her several times and attempted to bargain with her to get the camera back.”

According to the woman, the lieutenant offered to retire or transfer from the department. He also allegedly offered to give her the camera’s memory card in exchange for the camera. Instead, the woman kept it and it ended up with the police.

A spokesperson for the Fire Department told KXAN last week that since it is an open investigation, it cannot provide additional details.

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