Welcome back to another exciting installment of This Week in Starbucks Crime, in which we catalog the bad acts occurring at Starbucks' 16,000-odd worldwide locations over the past seven days, as well as the week's fallout from prior Starbucks-related misdeeds. This week, the man who uncovered last week's Hartford toiletcam kerfuffle reveals himself to be more of a yutz than a mensch.
Rafael Zeligzon happens to fix sinks for a living. He calls himself the "Drain Medic." So when the sink at his local Starbucks in Hartford, Connecticut, was giving him no hot water on the afternoon of July 27, he decided to take a look-see at the pipes. This was how the Israeli-American discovered the toiletcam allegedly placed there by Paul Deveau, the Hartford man who was arraigned yesterday on 12 counts of voyeurism, released on $100,000 bail, and told to return to court on September 12.
Deveau is obviously a man with problems, both psychological and legal. We have little more to say about him at present. More interesting, surprisingly, is Zeligzon, who granted a remarkable interview to The Hartford Courant, in which he explained why he took the camera home with him and kept it overnight.
Via Facebook Rafael Zeligzon took matters into his own hands.
First, he said, he tried to give it to Starbucks employees, but they told him they were too busy to talk to him.
And the cops?
"Who do you trust?" he asked The Courant. "What if you hand it over to somebody and it's gone?"
What other course of action, then, did Zeligzon have but to take the camera home, download the contents onto his computer, and see what there was to see? (What there was to see, he says, were 18 videos of men using the toilet, many with their naughty bits showing.) He wanted to know, Zeligzon told The Courant, whether he was included in the footage. (After viewing the videos, in a Anthony Weiner-ian moment, he said he wasn't sure whether he was.)
The next day, Zeligzon returned to the Starbucks, where he handed over the camera to a manager, who then alerted cops. Even after viewing the video, he told The Courant, he didn't go to the cops himself because "I'm not supposed to report the crime. It wasn't my place where it happened."
Once the cops got involved, they confiscated Zeligzon's computer as evidence. Without it, he says, he has been unable to conduct business as the Drain Medic, reliant as he is on it to schedule his appointments and such.
So he wrote a letter to Starbucks asking for help.
"In light of my good deed which prevented further violations of privacy of your customers," Zeligzon wrote to Starbucks, "I am requesting that you provide me with a replacement laptop."
So far, he says, he's heard bupkis.
"I had a little dream that Starbucks would say, 'Sir, we really appreciate it,'" he told The Courant. "Give me a lifetime coffee pass for me and my boys and my girl and a couple of friends."
Instead, we are hearing that he plans to just sit there in the dark. But please don't worry, he insists. He'll be fine, just sitting there all alone in the dark, with no Internet or Excel. The last thing he'd want is for you to worry about him.
That's it for this week. Until next time, remember: If you download toiletcam porn onto your computer, the cops may take it from you, and Starbucks might not be guilted into buying you a new one.