While Facebook is increasingly being used by law enforcement as a tool to track down major criminals, it can help catch small ones, too. That was the case this week when a man received a traffic ticket for posting a video to Facebook of himself taking an illegal shortcut.
Michael Dalton recorded a short video of himself cutting through the parking lot of an apartment complex that sits between his neighborhood and a shopping mall. He made the video in an effort to be helpful and show people a shortcut they could take if they didn’t want to cross the highway. However, a police officer visited him at his home about a week later and gave him a ticket for reckless driving and running a stop sign.
Dalton was upset about the ticket and vows to fight it in court. Even the police admitted they don’t do this kind of thing very often, but that anything posted on Facebook can carry consequences.
“We’ve seen stuff on Facebook before that has led to different things, but this is the first time that I’m aware of that we’ve given a ticket for it,” said Sgt. Andy Leibbrand. “You have a First Amendment right to post whatever you want, and can. But if you’re breaking the law and it’s in our jurisdiction, then we can do something about it.”