Cops help distraught teen through Facebook - FOX13 News, WHBQ FOX 13

Social media in police work

Cops help distraught teen through Facebook

Posted: Updated:
MYFOXNY.COM -

Law enforcement used Facebook to prevent a tragedy earlier this week. Port Authority police intercepted a Facebook user's post about a possible suicide attempt at the George Washington Bridge.

An 18-year-old man posted "I am thinking about jumping" to his Facebook page with pictures of the George Washington Bridge. A concerned user saw it and called 911.

Using social media, Port Authority Lt. Thomas Michaels tried to contact the suicidal teen. Michaels posted a message to the teen telling him to call.

Another officer distributed photos of the the teen's Facebook picture, and officers began searching the area. About two hours later, Michaels' phone rang. It was the teen. They spoke for a few minutes. Thankfully, the teen was off the bridge.

How it all unfolded is an example of how social media is changing law enforcement.

In 2012, the NYPD and the Brooklyn D.A.'s office used Facebook to track and arrested burglary suspects who allegedly bragged online about their crimes.

Former FBI Special Agent Jonathan Gilliam said that social media empowers criminals and cops.

The Port Authority police have used social media to verify addresses in the past. This was the first time officers have used it to reach out to someone. The 18-year-old man met up with officers at city hall and voluntarily checked himself into a hospital for an evaluation.

  • Manhattan NewsManhattan NewsMore>>

  • Injured detective in Village shootout leaves hospital

    Injured detective in Village shootout leaves hospital

    Wednesday, July 30 2014 1:28 PM EDT2014-07-30 17:28:00 GMT
    The third law enforcement officer injured in a Manhattan shootout is out of the hospital. The NYPD says Detective Mario Muniz was left Bellevue Hospital shortly after noon on Wednesday. Hundreds of his fellow police officers cheered as Muniz left the hospital in a wheelchair pushed by his NYPD patrol partner, Joseph Trovato.

    The third law enforcement officer injured in a Manhattan shootout is out of the hospital. The NYPD says Detective Mario Muniz was left Bellevue Hospital shortly after noon on Wednesday. Hundreds of his fellow police officers cheered as Muniz left the hospital in a wheelchair pushed by his NYPD patrol partner, Joseph Trovato. Police Commissioner William Bratton has said the detective's protective vest may have saved his life.


  • 5 annoying things about the New York City subway

    5 annoying things about the New York City subway

    Wednesday, July 30 2014 1:07 PM EDT2014-07-30 17:07:01 GMT
    Subway problems are annoying, but it’s just a part of living in New York City. Public transportation isn’t glamorous. It’s a pain. It’s a convenience that can cause an inconvenience. Here is a list of five annoying things about subways in New York City.
    Subway problems are annoying, but it’s just a part of living in New York City. Public transportation isn’t glamorous. It’s a pain. It’s a convenience that can cause an inconvenience. Here is a list of five annoying things about subways in New York City.
  • Fence aims to curb near-record GWB suicides

    Fence aims to curb near-record GWB suicides

    Wednesday, July 30 2014 11:54 AM EDT2014-07-30 15:54:11 GMT
    George Washington Bridge (file photo)George Washington Bridge (file photo)
    Officials plan to build a fence to curb suicides on the George Washington Bridge. The Port Authority of New York and New Jersey says there have been 13 suicides and 40 rescues on the span so far this year. There were 16 deaths for all of 2013. Plans call for erecting a 9-foot fence to replace the current railing to make jumping from the bridge difficult.
    Officials plan to build a fence to curb suicides on the George Washington Bridge. The Port Authority of New York and New Jersey says there have been 13 suicides and 40 rescues on the span so far this year. There were 16 deaths for all of 2013. Plans call for erecting a 9-foot fence to replace the current railing to make jumping from the bridge difficult.
Powered by WorldNow

WHBQ-TV | Fox 13
485 S. Highland St.
Memphis, TN 38111

Main Station: (901) 320-1313
Newsroom: (901) 320-1340

Didn't find what you were looking for?
All content © Copyright 2000 - 2014 Fox Television Stations, Inc. and Worldnow. All Rights Reserved.
Privacy Policy | Terms of Service | Ad Choices