Vigilante student uses Snapchat filter to catch 'predator' cop

Evarado Alatorre
Junio 13, 2019

Twenty-year-old Ethan, who did not reveal his last name, told police a female friend of his had been molested as a child, so he created an undercover online profile posing as a young woman named Esther to identify possible pedophiles, KNTV reported. He asked "her" to speak on Snapchat, where they talked about illicit sexual activity, cops said.

The report added that the student created the Tinder account as a 19-year-old girl - due to minors being prohibited from creating an account on the dating app - but told the alleged sexual predator that "Esther" was only sixteen years old.

Now, it has led to the arrest of a 40-year-old man who had sworn to protect and serve.

Using Snapchat's gender-switch filter, Ethan disguised himself as a 16-year old girl. Eventually, the two took their communication to the instant messaging app Kik, where the tipster claimed to actually be 16, cops said.

"I was just looking to get someone".

"He just happened to be a cop".

All along, Ethan told NBC Bay Area, he was mining Rob for small nuggets of personal information, so that it would be easy "for the police to track him down".

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The student turned his phone on airplane mode which stopped alerts to Davies that their conversations were being screenshotted. According to police, screengrabs of the conversation showed it did not bother the suspect.

A warrant for Davies arrest was issued on Thursday and he was charged with one count of contacting a minor with the intent to commit a felony.

"Whether or not the person is 16 is irrelevant", San Jose Police Sgt. Enrique Garcia told KTVU.

In a statement on the San Mateo Police Department's Facebook page, police chief Susan Manheimer said the conduct, if true, "is an affront to the tenets of our department and our profession as a whole".

The San Mateo Police Department noted in its statement that Davies' alleged crimes "occurred while he was off-duty in another county" and that he's been placed on paid administrative leave.

According to police, a "concerned citizen" contacted the Silicon Valley Crime Stoppers on May 11 after he reportedly posed as an underaged female teen and had several conversations "about engaging in sexual activity" with a man he soon discovered was a police officer in the bay area.

"I was just looking to get someone", he said.

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