MONTCLAIR, Calif. - At Montclair’s LA Fitness at about 7:00 p.m. Tuesday, Elizabeth Erasmo says her younger sister noticed a man at the arms machine next to her was videotaping all the women on the Stairmaster, including her sister. The sister who experienced the incident went on social media to warn other women, saying they felt violated in a place where they should feel safe.
“We don’t know what he goes home and does with the videos afterwards,” says 28-year-old Elizabeth Erasmo. “It’s not fun to even think about.”
“What caught my sister’s attention is he was just sitting on the machine. He wasn’t working out or doing anything. He picked up his phone, just moving it back and forth, back and forth.”
Suddenly, she says, the man knew he’d been seen. They told the front desk but the man, likely in his late 40’s, changed clothes and bolted out of the gym.
“I was just trying to de-stress. It’s after work, you’re trying to get your mind off things and then you find out this guy is recording you,” says Erasmo. “When we were walking out of the gym I even told my sister, ‘be careful. He might be hiding out here somewhere since you noticed him.’ You don’t feel safe. You don’t want to go work out because then there’s people just looking at you and recording you. It’s just uncomfortable and an invasion of your privacy.”
The sisters say LA Fitness didn’t take their claims seriously enough. LA Fitness wouldn’t comment on the incident but say their surveillance cameras show people entering the gym but not working out, so they do not have evidence of the man videotaping the women.
Montclair Police detectives encourage anyone else who has experienced this to come forward.