Atlantic City, NJ — Across the country brave individuals provide a much needed service to society by launching undercover stings to ensnare child predators. These vigilante groups pose as children online and allow the predators to do all the talking as not to entrap them before scheduling a meeting and exposing the pedophiles.
The template for these encounters usually involves the alleged pedophile showing up to meet who they think is a child, and meeting the pedophile hunter instead. This is the same method employed by the highly popular show To Catch a Predator.
The group Colorado Ped Patrol is one of the most successful of these organizations and has a record of over 90 confrontations in just the last three months — highlighting the serious problem of online predators attempting to meet children. One of the alleged predators to be ensnared by their tactics is making headlines this week as his job consisted of locking people like himself up.
The Central Bucks Regional Police Department was exposed this week for having a child predator within their ranks. Officer Clifford Horn, 54, of Chalfont, PA, was busted by the Ped Patrol this week and his arrest was livestreamed directly to YouTube.
“They would confront the individual and notify local law enforcement. The citizens provided the responding officers with screen shots of conversations and detailed information that was shared between the citizens and the suspects,” Atlantic City police said in a press release.
According to the group, Horn used the Grindr app to arrange a meeting with a person he thought was a 14-year-old boy for sex. The group gave police screen shots of their exchange, which included a photo of the officer in his underwear.
In a statement, District Attorney Matt Weintraub said his office “will begin the process of evaluating all Bucks County criminal cases in which Cpl. Horn was involved.
“The Bucks County District Attorney’s Office is aware of the investigation and arrest of CBRPD Corporal Clifford Horn in Atlantic County, New Jersey,” Weintraub said. “Our office has assigned personnel to assist New Jersey authorities in any capacity, and to investigate and prosecute any criminal activity that may have occurred in Bucks County. This office protects all victims, regardless of whether the accused perpetrator is an officer of the law or not.”
“I know he was something because he wouldn’t answer, he didn’t want to incriminate himself. He didn’t want to talk,” Thomas Fellows, the founder of Colorado Ped Patrol, told ABC 6.
Fellows has been conducting these stings for the last five months since he founded the Ped Patrol and his actions have helped police make dozens of arrests. Fellows says he started the group because his own son was molested.
“My brother-in-law molested my son seven years ago, so that’s the reason why I do this today,” Fellows said.
These vigilante child predator hunters provide a much needed service to society. While police focus on arresting people for arbitrary substances deemed illegal by the state, folks like Fellows and others are out there putting fear in the minds of predators. What’s more, as this case illustrates, cops are caught in these stings all the time.
Earlier this year, we reported on a cop out of Charlotte County, Florida, Charlotte County Deputy Marty Allen, 41, was arrested after pedophile hunters caught him in the act of soliciting a child for sexual relations.
Just two months before that, a vigilante group known as Waits List caught a cop at an elementary school, identified in the video as “Alan Reese.”
Before that, we reported on Stow Police Chief Ralph Marino who was caught on video attempting to meet a boy he thought was 14.