Covered by ABC News this week, 27-year-old Christopher Viatafa of California was interested to find out what information popped up on Google by searching for his name. He was quick to discover that his last mugshot photo was being prominently displayed on a site detailing Northern California’s Most Wanted. According to the site, police were interested in finding Viatafa in connection to an incident that occurred during August 2013. Alarmed to discover the listing, Viatafa went to his local police department and immediately turned himself in.
The incident in question was related to an argument that Viatafa got into during a party within San Leandro. According to police, Viatafa pulled out a semi-automatic handgun during the argument and fired multiple shots into the ground near other people at the party.
Police did not indicate if any of the shots caused injuries among the group at the event, but Viatafa was charged with assault with a deadly weapon. In addition, his status on the site has been changed to “Captured,” however a more appropriate caption would probably be “Surrendered.”
Releasing a statement about the unusual arrest, a representative for the San Leandro police department said “Although it wasn’t good judgment that landed him on the website, he did used good judgment to turn himself in after seeing his photo…The website played an important part in his apprehension and has been a valuable tool for both law enforcement and the public in finding criminals.”
Interestingly, many people that get arrested are facing the problem of wiping the Web clean when it comes to their mugshot and arrest details. There are many sites that catalog and display mugshots along with details about the arrest, thus making life even more difficult for criminals upon release when attempting to get a job. During 2012, one predatory site went as far as charging the arrestees $200 to remove their picture from the site.