A Greenwich man was arrested Sunday for lurking behind bushes in Lyon Park with a video camera pointed at children who were playing nearby, according to Port Chester police.
An off-duty police officer was driving near Lyon Park at 4 p.m. when he noticed a man hiding behind a tree, holding something in his hands and watching a pair of children between three and four years old, Lt. James Ladeairous said.
The off-duty officer stopped his car and got out; as he got closer, he realized the man was holding a video camera. The man moved closer to the two children, crouching behind bushes about five yards away.
The officer called to the man, identified as Robert Berwick of Greenwich, and Berwick said, "I know you're a cop" according to the police report. When the officer told Berwick to walk out of the bushes, the Greenwich man lunged at him and swung with the camera, striking the officer on his left shoulder and arm.
The off-duty cop was able to subdue Berwick and call for back-up. When uniformed officers arrived, they found the off-duty officer bleeding from his left arm and holding Berwick down.
Berwick, 42, of 73 Weaver St., was charged with felony second-degree assault. Police confiscated the camera and an investigation is continuing.
Sunday was not Berwick's first run-in with police for surreptitiously recording images of people in public. In 2001, Berwick was arrested for videotaping women and couples in Greenwich's Bruce Park. In that incident, two women sitting on a park bench spotted Berwick taping them from nearby bushes and dialed police from a cell phone. The Greenwich man was convicted of breaching the peace in 2002, according to court records and media reports.
Berwick was arrested for similar incidents in 2002 and 2003, violating terms of a plea deal that barred him from possessing photography equipment, according to a 2005 report in Greenwich Time.
Before accepting a deal for a lesser charge, a short prison term and probation, Berwick's lawyers had argued that the Greenwich man had not broken any laws after an incident in which he filmed couples having sex because people in public places like parks should not have an expectation of privacy.
In 2008, Berwick was arrested by Greenwich police after several people in Greenwich Library complained he was videotaping them, according to reports. Court records on that case were not immediately available.
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