A family in Del City, Oklahoma, set a trap on June 22 for a 33-year-old neighbor whom they believed was trying to have sex with their 15-year-old daughter (video below).
The teen's dad used web tracking software called Family Time to discover that his daughter was choosing to exchange sexual messages and photos with the neighbor, notes The Washington Post.
Del City Police Officer Jody Suit told KSWO what happened next:
The family took it upon themselves to pretend to be her and invite the suspect to the house to meet her in the backyard in a tent for the purpose of having sex … Just before he enters the tent, the father and three family members ... tackle him, zip tie his hands and feet, and hold him until the police get there ... As a parent, I don't blame them. I think it's their right to protect their children.
But the story has a twist. The teen daughter, who presumably liked the neighbor, was not aware that her family was trapping him by pretending to be her. No word on her reaction to the sting.
Her father, who chose not to be identified, was quite proud of the ruse, which he described to KOCO:
He had planned everything with her. He was ready, and we were, too. ... We sat out by the back door ... As he walked in and looked into the tent, my first nephew jumped out, my cousin jumped out after that and I came with the zip ties. ... So the moment he entered my yard, at that point in time, I had to do what was right as a father. ... You walked into the wrong backyard.
The neighbor was charged with using a phone and social media to communicate with a minor and unlawful communication by the use of technology, reports The Washington Post.
If the neighbor and the teen daughter had waited only one year they could have been married under Oklahoma law with the consent of the daughter's parents, according to FindLaw.
For parents interested in spying on their teen's activities, the Family Time website describes its app (sting operation not included):
Say hello to effortless digital parenting that is easy, fun and 100% effective with FamilyTime -- the best parental control app! FamilyTime is your ultimate parenting aide that will keep you posted on your children’s whereabouts and let you manage screen time and block apps on their phones with just a tap. What’s more: your kids can reach out to you instantly if they ever get into trouble with instant panic alerts. The future of smart digital parenting is now!