Duncan, SC – A registered sex offender who has been convicted of peeping on victims at least eight times in the past was tackled to the ground by a group of fathers outside a Cracker Barrel restaurant on Sunday, according to police.
The incident occurred at the Cracker Barrel located in the 1500-block of East Main Street on the morning of Sept. 20, WSPA reported.
A 15-year-old girl who was at the restaurant with her father went to use the women’s bathroom at one point during their meal, according to police.
While she was inside the bathroom, she noticed movement near her feet and looked down to see a man peeking out at her from beneath the partition, she later told investigators.
The teen rushed out of the bathroom and told her father, who alerted a female employee, WSPA reported.
Witnesses said there were other girls in the bathroom when the incident occurred.
“I’ll never forget the way they looked after,” a bystander told WSPA. “They were traumatized.”
The employee whisked the suspect out of the women’s bathroom, at which point the girls’ father confronted him, WSPA reported.
“The guy came running, sprinting out the front door with a very bloody nose,” a bystander said of the suspect.
The bloodied man tried to escape, but a group of fathers who were aware of the alleged incident refused to let that happen, WSPA reported.
They chased him down in the parking lot and tackled him to the ground, then restrained him until Duncan Police Department (DPD) officers arrived at the scene.
Investigators said they found the suspect’s phone on the floor of the women’s bathroom inside the restaurant, WSPA reported.
DPD Chief Carl Long identified him as 53-year-old Douglas Lane, a registered sex offender with at least eight prior convictions.
A group of men stopped this guy from getting away after Duncan, South Carolina police say a 15-year-old girl spotted him looking underneath the bathroom stall inside the Cracker Barrel on Sunday. Douglas Lane, of Mecklenberg County, is a registered sex-offender in North Carolina. pic.twitter.com/ASeLDKn0pe
— James Hughes (@JamesHu94283365) September 21, 2020
Lane is now facing charges of drug paraphernalia, possession of marijuana, and voyeurism, WSPA reported.
He allegedly told investigators that he had no idea he was in the women’s bathroom until he had already sat down, according to WYFF.
The investigation into the incident is ongoing, and additional charges could be filed in the future.
Cracker Barrel’s Media Relations Department said in a statement to WHNS that it is aware of the incident and that it has been cooperating with law enforcement.
“We take great pride in the fact that Cracker Barrel is known for being a home-away-from-home and providing a relaxed, comfortable, family-friendly environment,” the company said. “The safety of our guests and employees is our top priority, and we are fully cooperating with the authorities in their ongoing investigation regarding this incident.”
“Because it is an ongoing investigation, any further inquiries or questions need to be referred to the local authorities,” the Cracker Barrel’s statement concluded.
Lane received a $2,000 surety bond during his court hearing on Monday, during which the judge ordered the Charlotte, North Carolina resident to move to South Carolina, according to WSPA.
Lane must wear a GPS device and is prohibited from having any contact with the victim or her family members.
His next court appearance is scheduled for Nov. 12.
Lane’s criminal history dates back to 1984, according to WHNS.
According to South Carolina sex offender registry records, Lane was convicted of peeping, voyeurism or aggravated voyeurism in 1997, WAGA reported.
Two years later, he was convicted of failing to register.
According to court records, Lane was convicted of peeking into an occupied room in Mecklenburg County, North Carolina in 2004, WAGA reported.
The victims in that case were eight and nine years old at the time.
He was busted peeping into the room of an adult victim four years later, according to WAGA.