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Man cited for filming swimmers charged again
By: MICHELLE REIFF Record Express Staff firstname.lastname@example.org, Staff Writer
A man arrested four years ago for videotaping young swimmers at a Lititz area pool was cited recently for similar activity across the country.
Florida resident Thomas Bartow, 38, was arrested by the Redlands Police Department in Redlands, Calif., Nov. 6 shortly after 2 p.m. He was alleged to be videotaping swimmers at a meet at Redlands High School, according to Carl Baker, Redlands Police Department public information officer. Bartow was detained by two off duty police officers from other departments.
Baker said that police confiscated the video tape, conferred with the deputy district attorney from the San Bernardino County district attorney’s office, cited Bartow for loitering on school grounds and released him.
"The deputy district attorney advised that because he had not approached anyone and had not done anything overtly sexual, he was cited for loitering on school grounds and released," said Baker.
A court date has not yet been set, noted Baker. The fine for loitering is $1,000, six months in jail or both.
"He had a ticket back to Florida the next day," said Baker.
Bartow, formerly of Salisbury, Md., was arrested back in June 2007 after a parent noticed him videotaping swimmers during a meet at the Woodridge Swim Club in Lititz.
As reported in the June 27, 2007 issue of the Lancaster Intelligencer Journal, a Lititz Police Department detective escorted Bartow out of the pool and confiscated his camera and tapes. He later pleaded guilty to the charge of disorderly conduct and was fined $421. It was determined by police that Bartow had filmed swimmers previously at other meets.
The California arrest was not the first incident for Bartow since the 2007 Lititz one. According to the records department of the Pinecrest Police Department in Miami, Fla., he was issued a warning for allegedly trespassing on school property after an incident which occured this year on Sept. 17, at which time he was seen photographing juvenile female swimmers at an area school meet. He was not cited or fined.
Detective John Schofield of the Lititz Police Department was alerted about the California and Florida incidents by concerned citizens who saw warnings on a swimmers association website. He is currently gathering the details of the incidents that have occured in the other states.
"After he dealt with his charges, he went down to Florida and continued to do what he does," said Schofield.
Schofield stated that the department had done everything they could back in 2007. They had gone down to his residence in Salisbury, Md., following the Woodridge incident. His home and computer were searched.
"It impacts the Lititz area," said Schofield. "He is absolutely still a threat from the moment he left here."
Schofield is trying to find out as much as he can about the recent developments.
"The fear is that he is going to take it a step further and physically assault a child as opposed to taking pictures," said Schofield. More BARTOW, page A6