LYNDHURST — A volunteer firefighter and football coach is accused of videotaping people as they used the bathroom in his home during a pool party Friday.
Lyndhurst resident Mitchell Morreale, 45, was charged Tuesday with one count of invasion of privacy, a third-degree crime, Capt. John Valente said. Morreale was released.
Four female teenagers came to Lyndhurst police on Monday night to report the videotaping, he said. They had been at a pool party Friday with friends, including Morreale’s 19-year-old son, at the Morreale home on Livingston Avenue.
One of the teenagers was in a first-floor bathroom when she saw a light in a closet. She looked inside and saw what appeared to be a device recording her, Valente said.
She called the other girls into the bathroom and they realized it had been recording partygoers for about 30 minutes, he said.
They used their cellphones to record a portion of the footage, which they put on a thumb drive and later turned over to police, Valente said. The teenagers then deleted the footage from the device, he added.
Detectives brought Morreale to headquarters Tuesday morning and charged him. Authorities confiscated the device and some computer equipment in his home.
Morreale had recorded himself setting up the device, Valente said.
The police captain said he did not know why the teenagers waited several days to report the activity.
“I’m sure at the time they did what they thought was the best thing to do,” Valente said. “But it was good that they came forward.”
Morreale is a captain with the Lyndhurst Fire Department, Fire Chief Paul F. Haggerty said. He has been suspended from the department while his case goes through the court system.
He has been a member of the department for at least seven years, Haggerty said. He is not allowed to enter the firehouse, respond to calls or affiliate himself with the department while he is suspended.