Dad attacks man he suspects of taking upskirt photos of women: 'You messed with the wrong family'

Elise Solé
Yahoo Lifestyle
This surveillance video shot shows the suspect just before&nbsp; <span class="s1">Ismael Duarte confronted him for allegedly</span> taking upskirt photos of women at a Target store. (Photo: YouTube/CBS Los Angeles)
This surveillance video shot shows the suspect just before  Ismael Duarte confronted him for allegedly taking upskirt photos of women at a Target store. (Photo: YouTube/CBS Los Angeles)

A father tackled a man who police say took upskirt photos of women in Target, and he says the suspect “messed with the wrong family.”

On Sunday, Ismael Duarte was shopping at Target in Cypress, Calif., with his wife, Angelica, and their 15-year-old daughter when he noticed a man later identified as Jorge A. Ibarra Jr., 29, switch his phone to camera mode and trail his teen.

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According to store surveillance footage shared Thursday by the Cypress Police Department, Ibarra crouches in the makeup aisle next to a woman wearing a red dress and appears to snap photos before following her around the store. He then walks over near another woman at the checkout line, kneels down, and allegedly captures more footage. At that point, Duarte is seen kicking Ibarra’s phone away.


The dad told local news station KTLA that he
 followed Ibarra to the parking lot, where he tackled him. “My daughter, and the girl that actually was getting their picture taken without her being known — that’s what got me.”

Duarte ultimately released Ibarra, but he called the police and snapped a photo of the man driving away, capturing his license plate number. “I’m pissed off that I didn’t do more than I did, but I wish I would have, because I’m so angry,” Duarte told Fox 11, adding a message for the suspect: “If you’re watching, just know you messed with the wrong family. That’s all I’ve got to say.”

His wife, Angelica, told KTLA, “It’s very disgusting. … He knew exactly what he was doing.” She added: “So how much, if any, video did he get of my daughter? I’m not sure.”

Ibarra was arrested Wednesday for “Invasion of Privacy” (a misdemeanor) and booked into the Orange County Jail. His bail is set at $25,000. 

<span class="s2">Jorge A. Ibarra Jr.</span>&nbsp;is shown after he was arrested on charges of taking upskirt photos of female shoppers at Target. (Photo: Cypress Police Department)
Jorge A. Ibarra Jr. is shown after he was arrested on charges of taking upskirt photos of female shoppers at Target. (Photo: Cypress Police Department)

The couple claims that other Target shoppers reported Ibarra to store managers earlier that day, but no action was taken. Additionally, police reported that Ibarra apparently committed the same crime at a Cerritos Target that day. 

A representative from the Cypress Police Department did not return Yahoo Lifestyle’s request for comment. However, a spokesperson from Target sent the following statement to Yahoo Lifestyle: “At Target, the safety and security of our guests is very important to us and we have no tolerance for this behavior in our stores. Immediately upon learning of these recent incidents, our teams called police to investigate and shared video footage with them. We will continue to help law enforcement in any ways that we can be of support to their investigation.”

The laws surrounding “upskirt” photos are inconsistent, according to a report by Mic. In 2016, a Georgia Court of Appeals determined that privacy laws don’t include snapping photos up a woman’s skirt unless she’s in complete privacy, such as in a bathroom. The story also cites a 2014 case in Washington, D.C., in which a judge claimed that women couldn’t have a “reasonable expectation of privacy” while “clothed and positioned” in public. 

However, one day after a 2014 court ruling that a male subway rider who snapped upskirt photos did not violate state privacy laws, Massachusetts approved legislation that made the act a misdemeanor, with a maximum sentence of 2 1/2 years in jail and a $5,000 fine, according to NPR. In 2015, Texas passed a similar law banning the photos.

Holly Kearl, the founder of Stop Street Harassment, wrote in an article for Time that upskirt photos are a form of “gender-based street harassment,” which includes following and groping victims and affects 65 percent of women and 25 percent of men.

Unfortunately, men who commit upskirt crimes are skilled and sophisticated, according to Spencer Coursen, a threat management expert and founder of the Coursen Security Group. “From watching the surveillance footage, it’s clear that the man is a pro, crouching each time behind a barrier,” he tells Yahoo Lifestyle. “He’s implementing his tradecraft.” 

Ibarra’s bravado is shocking, but Coursen says these types of sex crimes are often fueled by a rush of excitement at the possibility of getting caught. Some offenders position stand or sit still, while others brush by their victims, either snapping photos or setting their cameras on video mode to capture screenshots later.

Coursen says there are ways to reduce the likelihood of becoming a victim. In Ibarra’s case, security camera footage proved crucial; however, store surveillance can also offer a false sense of security. “Many cameras are nonfunctioning, unmonitored, and utilized for protection of the brand, not the customer,” he points out.

Mastering a healthy sense of skepticism is also helpful — noting the energy in the room, the nearest exit, and maintaining eye contact with anyone who seems suspicious. “Many criminals depend on their ability to stay anonymous,” says Coursen, “so avoid listening to headphones or seeming otherwise zoned out or distracted.”

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