UCPD arrests man in bathroom recording case

Joseph Barbir. Photo: UCPD
Joseph Barbir. Photo: UCPD

The University of California Police Department has announced the arrest of a former Cal employee they say recorded more than 100 people, including two minors, in a restroom earlier this year.

UCPD detectives arrested Joseph Barbir, 49, on Thursday “after a lengthy and thorough investigation” that linked him to “more than two dozen counts of invasion of privacy with a covert camera. At least two of the victims were minors,” police said in a prepared statement.

On May 8, a “covert camera” was discovered in a restroom inside the Unit I residence hall central building at 2650 Durant Ave.

According to police, Barbir “used signs to redirect unsuspecting victims to that restroom in April and early May. It was determined that more than 100 persons were covertly recorded in the restroom.”


According to UCPD records posted online, police picked up Barbir in Castro Valley, where he lives, on a $145,000 misdemeanor warrant at 7:10 p.m. Thursday. He was taken to Santa Rita Jail in Dublin.

According to online records from the Alameda County sheriff’s department, Barbir posted bail and is no longer in custody. His next court date was not immediately available.

According to a UC Berkeley organization chart, Barbir was a fire alarm electrician in the Facility Services department as of March 2014.

UCPD could not be reached for further comment.

Richard Anderson. Photo: UCPD
Richard Anderson. Photo: UCPD

Police say many of the people who were recorded have been identified, but ask anyone who believes he or she may have been a victim of this crime, or has information regarding the case, to contact the UCPD Criminal Investigations Bureau. Detective Pete Odyniec can be reached by phone at 510-642-1606, or by email at odyniec@berkeley.edu.

Police said crime victims can find additional resources online on the Survivor Support website.

It’s not the first time this year UCPD has announced arrests in similar types of cases.

Earlier this month, UCPD arrested a 71-year-old man authorities say was using a cellphone to record another man in a bathroom stall on the UC Berkeley campus.

Authorities said Richard Anderson used a drill to make a hole in a bathroom stall wall in the Martin Luther King Jr. Student Union building on campus, and found him in possession of both a smart phone and a drill when they responded to the scene.

Police arrested him on suspicion of invasion of privacy and vandalism. He is no longer in custody but is scheduled for a pretrial hearing Oct. 30.

On April 13, UCPD reported the arrest on suspicion of unlawful peeping of 20-year-old Alfredo Mendez, a UC Berkeley student.

Alfredo Mendez. Photo: UCPD
Alfredo Mendez. Photo: UCPD

According to police, UCPD received a report March 30 from a woman who had been using the bathroom in a residence hall when she looked down and saw a cellphone camera pointing at her from the stall next to her.

She left the stall and waited to see who had been holding the phone. It turned out to be a man she recognized as another resident on her floor, police said, who was later identified by police as Mendez.

Police seized his phone and laptop, as well as CDs and DVDs, “and discovered additional victims of video voyeurism in the residence hall showers on the devices.”

Mendez was arrested on suspicion of unlawful recording with an electronic device, and no longer lives in university housing, according to UCPD.

Mendez is no longer in custody but he is scheduled for further pretrial Oct. 21.

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