A Colorado man got a traffic ticket because of a video he posted on Facebook.
Michael Dolton from Woodland Park, Colorado, learned an important lesson when he was visited by a Woodland Park police officer after posting a video online.
"On a whim I say, 'Hey I'll do a quick recording.'” Dolton told KKTV News. “I found this new little shortcut if you don't want to go across the highway.”
In the video, he cut through the parking of an apartment complex between his neighborhood and a shopping center. Toward the end of the video, Dalton can be seen running a stop sign.
"People getting upset at me because it was [...] through the parking lot on private property,” he recalled.
His video gained enough popularity that it eventually made its way to local police officers. According to the Woodland Park Police Department Facebook page, local law enforcement officers play a very active role in the community, from constructing creative programs given at local schools to holding interactive contests to teach awareness.
About a week after sharing the video on YouTube, a Woodland Park police officer paid a visit to Dalton’s home. He decided to record this interaction, as well.
"You're writing me for the stop sign based on my video?" Dalton asked the officer in the video.
"Yeah, you have a First Amendment right to post whatever you want, and you can, but if you're breaking the law and it's in our jurisdiction, then we can do something about it,” said Sgt. Andy Leibbrand.
Woodland Park police told KKTV that information posted on social media can indeed lead to legal repercussions.
"We've seen stuff on Facebook before that has led to different things, but this is the first time that I'm aware of that we've given a ticket for it," Leibbrand explained.
Dalton stated that he is concerned about arrests issued based on social media information
“Is this where we’re at?” Dalton said. “Can they use videos from Facebook to give me traffic violations, and can they do that to everybody?