Cops help distraught teen through Facebook

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>>

  • Robert De Niro says Tribeca Film Festival is his passion

    Robert De Niro says Tribeca Film Festival is his passion

    Wednesday, April 16 2014 8:01 AM EDT2014-04-16 12:01:20 GMT
    Robert De Niro is a family man, a filmmaker, an entrepreneur and one of my favorite actors of all time. He's also a co-founder of the Tribeca Film Festival, which has more to see than ever before. De Niro wears just as many hats on screen as he does in real life. The father of six starred in six films last year, owns four restaurants and a hotel, and still finds time each spring for the Tribeca Film Festival, Lower Manhattan's annual cinematic showcase.
    Robert De Niro is a family man, a filmmaker, an entrepreneur and one of my favorite actors of all time. He's also a co-founder of the Tribeca Film Festival, which has more to see than ever before. De Niro wears just as many hats on screen as he does in real life. The father of six starred in six films last year, owns four restaurants and a hotel, and still finds time each spring for the Tribeca Film Festival, Lower Manhattan's annual cinematic showcase.
  • NYC exploring ways to curb taxi speeds

    NYC exploring ways to curb taxi speeds

    Wednesday, April 16 2014 7:14 AM EDT2014-04-16 11:14:53 GMT
    New York City is exploring ways to curb the speed of taxis. The Taxi and Limousine Commission this week issued a request for information on "anti speeding vehicle technologies."  The measures include devices that can intervene when drivers exceed posted speeds and "advisory systems" that can sound alarms when reckless driving is detected.
    New York City is exploring ways to curb the speed of taxis. The Taxi and Limousine Commission this week issued a request for information on "anti speeding vehicle technologies."  The measures include devices that can intervene when drivers exceed posted speeds and "advisory systems" that can sound alarms when reckless driving is detected.
  • Temperature drops; snow moves in

    Temperature drops; snow moves in

    Wednesday, April 16 2014 6:15 AM EDT2014-04-16 10:15:30 GMT
    Fox 5 photoFox 5 photo
    Temperatures are below average for the remainder of the week. The mild weather made an exit in the Tristate region and snow moved in late Tuesday into Wednesday. Scattered showers, heavier rain, thunderstorms, and strong winds made a return. 
    Temperatures are below average for the remainder of the week. The mild weather made an exit in the Tristate region and snow moved in late Tuesday into Wednesday. Scattered showers, heavier rain, thunderstorms, and strong winds made a return. 
Powered by WorldNow

4739 NW 53rd Avenue, Sutie B
Gainesville, FL 32653

Phone: (352) 371-0051

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