Boy's claims about JC Penney peeping tom 'unfounded'

Oct. 15, 2010 at 5:15 a.m.

A Victoria boy's claim that a man peeped over his bathroom stall in JC Penney earlier this month has been found to be untrue.

Around 4 p.m. on Oct. 2, a 10-year-old boy told his mother, 37-year-old Norma Alvarado, that after he entered a bathroom stall located near the store's salon, an older man stood on top of the toilet in the adjoining stall and peeped over the top.

Supposedly, the man also made face and hand gestures toward the boy, Alvarado said.

Victoria Police Chief Bruce Ure issued a statement on Friday to explain why the investigation was officially closed.

"After an extremely comprehensive investigation, our agency is unable to corroborate any part of the juvenile's allegation and have 'closed' the investigation. Our investigators, as well as JC Penney executives, have extensively reviewed the entire store video, and after interviewing the juvenile, based on multiple and repeated critical inconsistencies, concluded that the incident did not occur," said Ure. "As the 10-year old's mother contacted the media and subsequently publicized the allegation before we could verify it, or complete our investigation, makes it unfortunately necessary to revisit this event publicly, and reveal our 'unfounded' determination."

Alvarado was not happy with the police department's decision to close the case.

"I didn't agree with (Ure) because he said my son made everything up," said Alvarado. "I understand they can't catch the guy, but to say he made it up really upsets me."

Alvarado admitted there were inconsistencies in her son's interviews with the police, however, she attributed it to the initial officer on the scene not taking accurate notes as well as her son forgetting details over the period of time following the incident.

Calls made to JC Penney's corporate office on Friday afternoon for comment were not immediately returned.

Despite Alvarado's earlier claims that store employees did not take quick action to locate the suspect, Ure said the store did everything just right.

"Based on our investigation, JC Penney employees responded to the allegation promptly and absolutely appropriately," said Ure. "We have been in close contact with store executives and believe that their response actions were right on and commend them for it."

Ure said no charges would be filed against Alvarado or her son for making a false report to a peace officer.



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