Publish date:

Lost man shamed as 'creeper' on Facebook, police come to rescue

A man stopped for directions and was unknowingly photographed and shamed on Facebook.
Roger and Big Lake Police

Big Lake Police Chief Joel Scharf with Roger, the victim in the story. 

The Big Lake Police Department has come to the defense of an innocent man who was wrongly shamed on social media. 

It's unclear who shamed the man on Facebook, but Big Lake PD says the post was submitted Wednesday by someone who thought a man was driving through a neighborhood and taking pictures of homes and children.

"This creeper man was taking pics of houses on Fair Meadow Drive," the post says. "But what irritated [SIC] me is when he rolled down the window to clearly take a pic of my son and neighbor boy at their bus stop. I'm not OK with that! Be on the look out!"

Screen Shot 2019-10-25 at 7.18.32 AM

Big Lake Police Chief Joel Scharf didn't learn about the Facebook post until later in the day, noting that "I was tagged to it several times." Once he found out about it, Scharf had an officer run the license plates from the truck in the photo. 

"What we found out, was this was an older gentleman known to us, who was looking for an address. He had pulled over, rightfully so, to use his cell phone to call for directions," said Scharf. 

The online shaming brought the man to tears when he spoke with police Thursday morning, with Scharft noting that the man has been called names in several places in the community, "most of those including 'pervert.'" 

The man, identified as Roger, told KARE 11 that he has lived in Big Lake since 1970 and he was on his way to his son's house to help out with a broken down truck. He said he took a turn one block too early because he was unfamiliar with the area that his son recently moved to. 

Scharf called Facebook an "incredibly powerful tool" but said "Facebook is not a replacement for contacting law enforcement when suspicious activities are observed." 

"Had the person who observed this activity reported it to us, we could have dealt with it in a very short amount of time. So please, if you see suspicious activity, call the police department and let us do the investigating," Scharf added. 

"If there is a concern, we will post it, and be transparent about it. Rather, you have an older gentleman devastated in his own hometown."

Next Up

first snow

Any sign of snow in the forecast for Minnesota?

The stars could align for some flurries in northern Minnesota this week, but that's about it.

Flickr - 14 year old vaccine shot - Navy Medicine

Walz announces $200 reward for kids 12-17 who get COVID shots

Those ages have the lowest vaccination rates among all eligible age groups.

Screen Shot 2021-10-15 at 10.01.55 PM

Police still searching for suspect who opened fire at Plymouth movie theater

It sparked a partial evacuation of the Emagine Willow Creek theater.

covid, vaccine

Minnesota's COVID-19 update for Monday, October 18

Hospitalizations have surpassed 1,000 in the latest update.

Gully Boys van stolen Twitter pic 1

Mpls. band Gully Boys' van stolen, with all their gear inside

They're asking Twin Cities residents to be on the lookout for the silver van.

ATV, all-terrain vehicle

2 girls from St. Cloud injured in ATV crash

Neither girl was wearing a helmet, the sheriff's office said.

Kirk Cousins

Kirk Cousins has turned into a late-game killer for the Vikings

Cousins has given the Vikings a chance to tie or win the game 7 times in 6 games.

john oliver

Watch: The absurd ad 'Last Week Tonight' wrote for a MN car dealership

Host John Oliver described the commercial as a "tense domestic psychodrama."

Car driving

Minnesota is on track for the most road deaths since 2007

Minnesota has recorded 384 traffic deaths as of Oct. 14.

helicopter-186718_1280

1 dead, 1 airlifted following Goodhue County crash

The crash happened around 6:15 a.m. Sunday.

Related

Screen Shot 2019-10-22 at 9.22.34 AM

Bemidji police chief decries racist comments on department Facebook page

He said comments on the page have become increasingly offensive.

Man kicks in door after Facebook flap

A Moorhead man is accused of kicking in a door because he was upset that his ex-girlfriend deleted him from Facebook and he was no longer able to view pictures of their daughter.

Minneapolis Parks Board president responds to report police 'drew guns' on children

A video showing the aftermath of the police stop has been shared widely on Facebook.

Screen Shot 2020-10-01 at 8.07.42 AM

Man killed by police in St. Cloud identified

Kirby Joseph Michael Hengel was shot by law enforcement in St. Cloud on Tuesday.