An 18-year-old in Oregon joked on Facebook about driving drunk and getting in a hit-and-run accident, then was arrested after "friends" saw the posting and reported it to police. No one was injured, thankfully, but two cars were damaged.
"We have used Facebook previously as an investigative tool, but this is the first time I believe we have arrested someone who posted they had committed the crime," Brad Johnston, deputy chief of police in Astoria, Ore., told NBC News on Friday.
Here's what Jacob Cox-Brown of Astoria wrote on his Facebook page on New Year's Day, not realizing he'd hit two vehicles, not just one:
Drivin drunk... classsic ;) but to whoever's vehicle i hit i am sorry. :P
Two of Cox-Brown's 656-plus friends on the social network took notice and separately contacted Astoria police to report what they'd seen.
Astoria police "have an active Social Media presence. It was a private Facebook message to one of our officers that got this case moving," said Johnston in an incident report file shared on the department's website — which included a screenshot of Cox-Brown's Facebook posting.
"When you post [that] on Facebook you have to figure that it is not going to stay private long," Johnston said in the release.
The department's "active Social Media presence" includes its own Facebook page, on which Cox-Brown's booking mug shot was featured as part of another media story on the arrest, shared by the police:
On Jan. 1, the police responded to a call about a hit-and-run that left a white Toyota Scion sideswiped with "significant damage." Another car parked in front of the Scion also had damage, police said. They later went to Cox-Brown's house and found a car that "matched the damage done to the two vehicles at the early morning crash."
Cox-Brown was arrested and taken to the county jail. He has been charged with two counts of "failing to perform the duties of a driver" by not stopping and letting the cars' owners know about the accident and how to contact him.
Johnston said the charge is a "class A misdemeanor" that is "punishable by not more than one year in jail and a fine of $6,250."
The youth now joins others on the social network who have made similar incriminating posts on Facebook, including members of a New York street gang who last year boasted of their burglary feats, a South Carolina woman who shared her joy at trashing her ex-boyfriend's house and an 18-year-old from Pittsburgh who burglarized a market and posted with photos of his cohorts and the loot they got.
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