An Amherst man whose suspicious behavior in a shopping mall led to his arrest on drug and “peeping” charges pleaded guilty to a misdemeanor Thursday in State Supreme Court.
Matthew Wright, 31, of White Pine Court, admitted that he attempted to use a small camera to look up a woman’s skirt when she was shopping at Forever 21 at the Walden Galleria mall in Cheektowaga in May. The woman’s mother noticed him in the act and reported it to security, who confronted Wright about what he was doing.
Wright allegedly denied the accusations, telling the officers that he couldn’t have filmed anything because his cellphone was in his vehicle. When officers went with him to check on the claim, they found the phone in the car. However, according to the prosecutor, they also found a quantity of marijuana and $2,700 in cash tucked into the console.
It also turned out that while Wright wasn’t carrying a phone, he did have a small recording device on him.
He was originally charged with unlawful surveillance for allegedly trying to film under the woman’s clothing, a Class E felony, along with two drug charges – criminal possession of marijuana, a Class A misdemeanor, and unlawful possession of marijuana, a violation. He pleaded guilty to one misdemeanor charge of attempted unlawful surveillance and forfeited the $2,700.
Justice Penny M. Wolfgang, seeming to find it awkward addressing the defendant as “Mr. Wright” noted that it was “with a W,” and indicated that she will consider a sentence of probation when he returns to court Oct. 12.