Police Report Details Charges Against Morsels Owner
By Beth Milligan | Nov. 16, 2023
A police report obtained by The Ticker through a Freedom of Information Act (FOIA) request reveals new details about felony charges facing Morsels owner Ed Witkowski. According to the report, Witkowksi allegedly installed a surveillance camera in an electrical outlet in the women’s restroom at Morsels, switched out the outlet when it was discovered by employees, and lied to the police about replacing it. Police discovered videos of three nude women using the Morsels restroom on Witkowski’s cell phone, one of whom appears to be under 18.
The report states that a Morsels employee discovered what appeared to be a small camera in the electrical outlet of the women’s restroom on August 28. The outlet is located next to the sink in the bathroom and faces the toilet. The employee took photos of the outlet and covered the suspected camera up with a piece of tape. Another female employee examined the outlet and also found it to be suspicious. Shortly after staff put tape over the camera, the lights in the women’s room began reportedly experiencing issues. One employee later told police she believed this electrical problem gave Witkowski cover to go into the bathroom and replace the outlet. When staff looked at the outlet again a short time later, it appeared to be clearly different, according to the report.
Staff reported the incident to police. Witkowski became aware the business was being investigated, according to the report, and pressed employees for details. He told one staff member he had looked at the bathroom outlets and thought they were the same ones that had always been there, which the employee told police was clearly a lie. Based on the photos of the suspicious outlet taken by staff, police were able to identify an Ebay retailer who sold identical models of outlets. A search warrant was executed on Witkowski’s Ebay account, which showed he had purchased two of the outlet camera devices in June and July.
The mother of one of the employees told police that Witkowski had recently told her daughter at work that “he did not approve of the clothing that she had worn to work and told her to go change,” according to the report. Witkowski reportedly told the employee that “if she didn’t have something to change into, that he would give her something to change into.” The report indicates the women’s restroom was the only available location in which the employee could change. The employee was upset because she wore the same type of clothing to work as other female employees and felt she was being targeted by Witkowski, the mother reported.
After interviewing staff and locating the Ebay evidence, police obtained warrants to search Morsels and Witkowski’s home on Oak Street on October 26. Witkowski was detained shortly after leaving his house in the early morning hours that day via a traffic stop and was taken in for questioning. Police seized his phone and towed his vehicle to search for further evidence. They retrieved numerous electronic devices from Morsels and Witkowski’s residence, the report states. The report indicates Witkowski’s wife, Angie Witkowski, was out of state when police searched their home but that they were able to contact her by phone and notify her of the search. Her 12-year-old son was present in the home when authorities arrived and was allowed to leave with his father, Angie Witkowski’s ex-husband, before police proceeded with searching the home.
Police also interviewed a tenant who lived in an apartment above the garage on the Oak Street property. She gave permission to authorities to search the apartment for surveillance equipment. Authorities did not locate any, but asked the tenant if any work had been completed recently in her unit. She said that “a month-and-a-half ago there was a weird situation where she got home and her door was unlocked going up to her apartment. She thought that was definitely out of the ordinary due to the fact that she always locked her door and upon entering her apartment she felt like someone might have been in there.” The tenant also said that a few weeks previously, Witkowski had been in her apartment after she called to report something was wrong with her washer/dryer. Witkowski had taken the repairman up into the apartment, she said.
Following the searches, law enforcement “located three videos of naked women using the women’s bathroom at Morsels,” according to a police complaint submitted to the prosecutor’s office. “One of the women appears to be under the age of 18.” Witkowski’s Internet search history on his cell phone showed search terms including “how does a hidden camera detector work,” “best spy camera for home,” and “outlet hidden camera.” Receipts and shipping information were also found for the hidden camera purchases, according to the complaint.
Law enforcement also found videos on an SD card “that appeared to be from another hidden camera that was pointed at a shower in a residential bathroom,” the complaint states. While no nude images or videos of other subjects were located, Witkowski is shown in one video to be exposed and pleasuring himself with an iPad in his hand, “appearing to look directly at the hidden camera’s location,” according to the complaint.
Witkowski, 49, is facing multiple charges including three counts of capturing/distributing images of an unclothed person, using a computer to commit a crime, and lying to a police officer. Capturing pictures or videos of an unsuspecting person who is naked or partially clothed "under circumstances in which the individual would have a reasonable expectation of privacy" is a felony under Michigan law. Distributing or transmitting those pictures or videos is also illegal. The penalty is up to five years in prison and/or a fine of up to $5,000. In many such cases, an additional charge of using a computer to commit a crime is added, which can also have a potentially lengthy prison term depending on the underlying offense. In an investigation into a felony punishable by four or more years in prison, as in this case, lying to the police is punishable by up to two years in jail and/or a fine of up to $5,000.
The police report notes that the complaint remains open “pending additional evidence analysis and the possible identification of the video-recorded females in this incident.” Evidence is being analyzed with assistance from the Michigan State Police Computer Crimes Unit, according to the report.
Witkowski was arrested on November 9. He has since been released on bond. Witkowski’s arraignment is scheduled for 10:10am on November 29 via Grand Traverse County 86th District Court.Comment