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California dad labeled a hero for confronting, kicking phone away from up-skirt photo taker at Target

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Don Sweeney
The Sacramento Bee

When Ismael Duarte spotted a man who had earlier followed his 15-year-old daughter in Target put his phone on the floor, apparently trying to film up the skirt of another shopper, he went into “protect mode,” he told KTLA.

Security video from the Cypress, California, store about 8 p.m. Sunday shows Duarte kick the phone away, then shove the man to the floor as he scrambles after it.

The man dashes out of the store, followed by Duarte and his wife, who shot a photo of his license plate to turn over to police, KTLA reported.

After an investigation, Cypress police on Wednesday arrested Jorge A. Ibarra Jr., 29, on suspicion of invasion of privacy, according to a police statement.

Investigators discovered Ibarra had taken upskirt videos of shoppers at a Target store in Cerritos, California, earlier Sunday, according to the statement. They asked that anyone who suspects they might also be a victim call detective Cassie Miller at 714-229-6631.

Duarte told KCBS that he spotted Ibarra earlier in the store following his 15-year-old daughter around.

“What caught my attention, when he got close to my daughter (his phone) was in camera mode,” Duarte said, according to the station. Ibarra walked away after Duarte approached.

But when Duarte saw Ibarra put his phone on the floor behind a woman in a skirt at a checkout stand, he realized Ibarra may have been trying to do the same to his daughter, KCBS reported. That’s when he leaped into action.

“If you’re watching, just know you messed with the wrong family, that’s all I got to say,” Duarte told KTTV.

In a statement, Target said it had immediately provided the security video to police and would cooperate fully in the investigation, the station reported.

“The safety and security of our guests is very important,” the Target statement read, reported KTTV. “We have no tolerance for this behavior in our stores.”

“It’s very disgusting,” Angelica Duarte, Ismael’s wife, told KTLA. “It’s disgusting that he knew exactly what he was doing. If he went to different Targets to do this, how many other stores did he go to?”

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