Photo-sharing service Snapchat is being credited with inadvertently solving a crime.
In Parker, Colorado, Mason Deal, 18, was attacked by a man after a minor car accident. He was left with a black eye and a concussion, but his assailant got away.
That was until a photo of the beating appeared on Snapchat.
Steven Paula’s teenage daughter was in the car when he hit Deal. She then took a photo of her father beating up Deal and sent it to her friends. One of them was a friend of Deal’s, and she took a screenshot of the image.
Snapchat is designed to allow users to send photos or short videos, and the idea is that the media will then disappear forever. However, this can be circumvented if the receiving party takes a screenshot of it.
“Part of me feels bad for her for thinking that it was okay to post something like that on media,” Deal said. “It was funny, but at the same time, she gave us everything we needed, and, you know, for that I’m grateful.”
Deal’s father, Mike Deal, agreed. “[It was] incredibly thoughtless and stupid” for Paula’s daughter to publicize the incident with the app. “Social media is a powerful thing. If we didn’t have that one image, we would be sitting here today wondering who did this,” Mike said.
Paula was bearded when he allegedly attacked Deal, but upon his arrest a week later, he was clean shaven.
“I find it a little bit convenient, especially during “No Shave November,” Deal said.
When police were given the image, they arrested Paula and charged him with misdemeanor assault. He avoided a felony charge because he did not use a weapon and Mason did not suffer any serious injuries in the alleged attack.