A North Massapequa man who was secretly taking photos of an 8-year-old girl at a Seaford ice cream shop was arrested after an off-duty cop saw what was going on, police said.
Richard Stacel was allegedly taking the photos with a cell phone while on line at the Mad Topper Ice Cream store at 1220 Hicksville Road shortly after 8 p.m. Thursday. Cops said Stacel was taking the photos "in a manner that was innappropriate."
The officer, who was standing within five feet of the suspect and the young girl, saw what was happening and waited until Stacel was outside to confront him so other customers wouldn't be endangered.
The officer identified himself while the store owner called 911.
Stacel struggled with the officer and broke the phone and its memory card, police said. The suspect went to his car, but the off-duty officer stood between the driver side door to prevent Stacel from shutting it and leaving.
Stacel then allegedly reached towards the center console of the car, where a stun gun was later found. Police arrived and placed him under arrest.
Nassau County Police Deputy Inspector Kenneth Lack said that police will try to recover the photos, but wasn't sure if it would be possible. Lack also said that Stacel had been arrested for a child endangerment issue in Nassau County before.
Stacel was charged with endangering the welfare of a child and weapons possession.