Reporting Rochelle Ritchie
CROFTON, Md. (WJZ) — Shocking allegations. A U.S. air marshal living in Anne Arundel County is accused of taking inappropriate pictures underneath the skirts of women.
Rochelle Ritchie explains where the pictures came from.
According to investigators, the unwanted and unexpected photo shoot happened at the Nashville International Airport.
Adam Bartsch, 28, a federal air marshal from Anne Arundel County, runs from news cameras after he is released from jail on a $10,000 bail after a man says he caught him taking inappropriate pictures of women on a plane.
“His left hand was holding his phone and it was in the aisle. In my mind, I said, ‘he’s not taking pictures of the girls!’” the man said.
Police say it happened on board Southwest Airlines Flight 3132, departing from Nashville, where Bartsch was on duty.
As the women walked past Bartsch’s seat, a witness says he saw him use a cell phone camera to take pictures underneath their skirts.
The witness says he grabbed the phone and turned it over to a flight attendant.
WJZ tried to talk to Bartsch at his home in Crofton, but there was no answer.
Neighbors say Bartsch’s actions show a lack of respect for his position and the lives he is hired to protect.
“That is a lot of responsibility, and yeah, I was totally shocked by that. You wouldn’t expect that from a person in that position,” said Eugene Phillips.
Officials with the TSA would not go on camera, but released a statement, saying: “TSA does not tolerate criminal behavior. The agency has removed this individual from his current duties.”
Very little is known about Bartsch. Neighbors tell WJZ he has a wife and child and appeared to be a model citizen with credibility.
“It’s inappropriate. I mean, if I want to wear a dress I shouldn’t be worried if someone is going to be looking up there,” said Fran Wheat.
Investigators say Bartsch admits he took about a dozen photos.
“I hope he gets what he derserves,” a woman said.
TSA officials say they are deciding whether to fire or suspend Bartsch.
Bartsch is due in court November 14.
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