A belligerent 28-year-old was arrested this morning and charged with theft, trespassing and recording without consent, after suspicious hotel patrons reported that he was rifling through the maid carts at the Choice Inn located at 401 Kennedy Blvd in Tampa, Fla.
Paul Chang of Tampa is being held at the Hillsborough County Sheriff’s Office in lieu of $7,500 bond.
Chang was arrested shortly after 10 am on Wednesday when several guests reported that the suspect was rifling through the trash bags on carts and removing discarded tampons, soap and toilet paper rolls, and placing them in his backpack.
Deputy Fred Simmons stated, “inside Mr. Chang’s backpack we found used tampons, bits of old soap and torn toilet paper rolls. He was specifically sorting through the trash for these three items and leaving everything else in the garbage. It was disgusting.”
When asked by deputies why he was rifling through the trash he responded, “it is for an art project.”
Chang allegedly repeatedly asked the deputies for their names after taking out his cell phone and placing it on the floor in front of him, and announced that he was “documenting for YouTube.”.
The deputy noted in the affidavit that Chang was informed that he did not have the deputies’ permission to record and was therefore violating a state law. He continued to record until he was placed in custody. Florida is one of a small number of states that require that all parties consent to the recording of a conversation.
Chang has no previous record of arrests or convictions. His court appearance is scheduled for May 29th.