SUGAR HILL -- A peeping Tom suspect is accused of carving a hole through the floor of a Sugar Hill trailer for a vantage point into the home's bathroom.
Police investigating a prowler call Sunday night in the 1300 block of Hickory Hills Drive spotted Steven Appling, 49, of Sugar Hill, sitting at the corner of two nearby streets. He was identified by a resident of the trailer as a man who was shooed away after being caught looking in the windows of a children's room that night, according to a Gwinnett police report.
Appling, who was "belligerent and verbally abusive," told police he was merely looking for his boots near the trailer. Police didn't buy it, arresting him on loitering and prowling charges, the report states.
En route to jail, Appling reasoned that he was simply "trying to see those (breasts)," Officer JP Kimsey wrote in the report. The officer placed a boot that allegedly belonged to Appling in evidence and returned to work.
That's when the situation devolved from strange to downright bizarre.
The adult trailer residents summoned police back to the scene after finding that a large part of the trailer's siding had been ripped away near a staircase.
Deep in a crawl space, they'd spotted a clean, blue mattress, and above that a hole dug into the trailer's floor, creating a vantage point into a bathroom via a medicine cabinet.
"I could actually see the shower curtain and toilet," the officer wrote. "If you laid (sic) down or sat on the blue mattress you had a very clear view of the bathroom."
A quest for the second boot beneath the trailer had to be suspended because the space was crawling with black widow spiders, the officer noted. But the set-up was enough to charge Appling with burglary, in addition to peeping Tom and prowling.
Jail records show Appling was on probation and has been arrested in Gwinnett 15 times since 1999, including another burglary charge last month. He served a year in a Georgia prison for a 2005 DUI and fleeing police conviction in Hall County.
Appling is scheduled to appear before a magistrate judge in a probable cause hearing Friday.