A California police officer has found himself on the other side of the handcuffs after trying to hook up with a 16-year-old girl he met on Tinder.
But the girl wasn’t actually 16. In fact, she wasn’t actually a girl.
“Esther” was actually Ethan, a 20-year-old college student who used Snapchat’s popular gender-swap filter on himself and then created a dating profile with the image in the hopes of catching a sexual predator — a strange case of someone using a seemingly silly bit of tech for vigilante justice.
The man who fell for Ethan’s trap was San Mateo police officer Robert Davies.
His first message to Esther after the two matched on Tinder was “Are you down to have some fun tonight?” And based on screenshots collected by Ethan, Davies wasn’t deterred when his potential paramour switched the conversation to a different messaging app — and revealed that she was only 16.
“We started texting on there, and it got a lot more explicit,” Ethan told NBC Bay Area.
Ethan swapped messages with Davies for more than 12 hours to collect information about the sexual predator.
The student then sent screenshots of the conversation to Crime Stoppers, and San Jose police arrested Davies on suspicion of discussing sexual activity with a minor on social media.
“I was just looking to get someone,” Ethan told NBC Bay Area regarding his use of the gender-swap filter. “He just happened to be a cop.”
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