NEW ORLEANS- As the Krewe of King Arthur left the corner of St. Charles and Poydras, and Alla arrived late Sunday afternoon, a Covington woman stood behind her teen daughter and a friend as they were positioned up against a barricade to get the best chance for beads.
A man caught the mother's eye. He was too close to her daughter for comfort, so she told her to move.
"That's when the guy started going closer to her friend too, so I said what is wrong with this guy, something is wrong," said the mother, who asked not to be identified. "That's when my daughter turns around, goes and looks down and that's when I looked down too and he is holding like a satchel bag-type all the way down and I can see the camera."
"This guy, this pervert, he's videoing up our skirts with a GoPro camera," said the daughter, who Eyewitness News is also keeping anonymous.
The pair said when the man realized he was caught, he tried to leave, but after a brief struggle and a search by police, a small camera was found. 41-year-old Diego Figueroa, a professor at the University of Texas Rio Grande Valley, was arrested for video voyeurism.
It was a disturbing experience for the family that they want to be eye-opening for other families.
"This is a really nice time here in New Orleans, really nice time to have fun, to enjoy Mardi Gras and the parades," the mother said. "But you have to keep in mind that there's a lot of people out there with a different mentality, with a different agenda, that they're looking for something else."
One of the girls warned other teens to "be careful and mindful that these people are out there and anything can happen at any moment," while the other advised all families to "just be aware of your surroundings."
Figueroa bonded out of jail but has a court date next month.
Figueroa's local attorney, David Gremillion with Bloom Legal, commented on his client's behalf, saying, "The facts are still coming out. My client maintains his innocence. No charges have been filed at this time as the case is still in screening and pending. My client is looking forward to his day in court."