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Police Share Wanted Poster Of Man Who Promises To Surrender If It Gets 15K Likes
By Mikelle Leow, 24 May 2019
Image via City of Torrington Police Department
In a bizarre shot at fame, a fugitive has struck a deal with a Connecticut police department that he would turn himself in if his wanted poster went viral on Facebook.
The City of Torrington Police Department has thus uploaded a poster containing the mugshot of 29-year-old Jose Simms, who has seven arrest warrants and is now deemed a fugitive for failing to appear in court over charges including risk of injury to a child and a breach of peace.
On Wednesday, Lt. Brett Johnson remarked in the post that the man “negotiated with me earlier this week (through Facebook) and has agreed to turn himself in to Torrington Police if we can get 15,000 likes on this post.”
Lt. Johnson added that the fugitive had requested for 20,000 likes, but the police negotiated for 10,000, so “we split.”
Noting the difficulties of making the post go viral, he encouraged social media users to “please like this post, and while you’re at it, share it, tweet it, Instagram it, Snapchat it” in order for the man to be nabbed promptly. The officer also tried his luck at catching another man by sharing a second wanted poster.
The post has amassed an unprecedented 26,000 likes since time of publishing, but sadly, the fugitive seems to have walked back on his promise.
“We are getting a lot of inquiries as to if Mr Simms has turned himself in yet. As of now he has not,” Lt. Johnson followed up. “We will update the post again when he does turn himself in.”
While social media users are evidently amused at this deal, Maki Haberfeld—a specialist of police ethics at the John Jay College of Criminal Justice—has criticized that the police should not be giving in to the suspect, who appears to be manipulating authorities and the media.
Simms, however, told the Associated Press that he was “serious” about his promise, and was tired of being on the run and constantly looking over his shoulder.
While the social media move has been shunned by critics, a similar incident saw a police department successfully nabbing a suspect who had achieved overnight fame for resembling ‘Ross Geller’ from Friends.
Regardless of the number of "Likes" this post receives, we will continue to utilize the resources we have available to...Posted by City of Torrington Police Department on Wednesday, May 22, 2019
[via CBS News, images via City of Torrington Police Department]
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