WOODLAND PARK, Colo. — A video posted to Facebook is generating talk around the question if you break the law and no one is watching, does it still count?
For Colorado videographer Michael Dalton, the video seemed harmless but he quickly learned social media is just another tool authorities can use.
“I brush off the charges that sound all big and bad because they’re lies but the $60 dollar video, I admit I ran that stop sign,” said Dalton.
Police say just because no one is there to witness an illegal act, any video caught or posted online can be used as evidence in order to prosecute in Colorado.
“If you’re posting stuff on Facebook or any social media for that matter, that’s illegal, don’t expect something not to happen,” said Sgt. Andy Leibbrand with the Woodland Park Police Department. “If it’s there and if it’s a crime that happened within our jurisdiction and we can show that then absolutely we’ll follow up with it.”
Dalton ran a total of four stop signs and he claims he did so unintentionally despite the fact he purposely posted the video of himself running a stop sign.
“Did I do this on purpose? No,” said Dalton. “Do I have an end game in mind? Absolutely. But I’m trying to figure that game out, that’s the social media game, that’s the viral video game.”
The video quickly came to the attention of the Woodland Park Police Department who charged Dalton with a $60 dollar ticket for reckless driving and failure to stop at a stop sign.
“That’s mainly why we pursue it, it’s a safety issue,” said Leibbrand. “It’s something that we saw that wasn’t being safe and we don’t want that in our town.”
Dalton has since issued a public apology video but says he doesn’t regret posting the video.
“Would I take anything back that I did, would I not put that video… I don’t know probably not,” said Dalton. “Probably would still post it.”
Dalton is also being cited for trespassing and harassment, two charges he will appear in court for on April 13th.