Detailed on Seattle’s local ABC affiliate Komo News, 18-year-old Jacob Cox-Brown though it would be a brilliant idea to update his Facebook status to reflect the details of his drive home on New Year’s Eve. After an alleged night of drinking alcohol, the teenager wrote “Drivin drunk … classsic ;) but to whoever’s vehicle i hit i am sorry. :P” as the new status update on his Facebook account. One of Cox-Brown’s 650+ friends immediately contacted the local Astoria police department through a police officer’s Facebook account and a second friend contacted the local police station.
According to Deputy Chief Brad Johnston, police officers were already investigating a hit-and-run accident in which two cars were hit when Cox-Brown’s friends contacted the police. A white-colored Scion involved in the accident was severely sideswiped and pieces of the car that caused the damage were left at the scene. After being alerted about the status update, police officers visited the home of Cox-Brown and found a vehicle with damage matching the sideswiped vehicle. In addition, police were able to match up pieces from the crash to the vehicle found at Cox-Brown’s home.
Cox-Brown was immediately arrested and charged with two counts of failing to perform the duties of a driver. Police were not able to charge Cox-Brown with drunk driving since he was interviewed several hours after the incident occurred. According to police, the Facebook post isn’t enough evidence of his intoxication while driving. Regarding Cox-Brown’s interview, Johnston stated “He denied it initially, and it wasn’t until he was confronted with overwhelming evidence that he finally admitted to it.”
In a press release from the Astoria Police on Wednesday, a department representative stated “Astoria Police have an active social media presence. It was a private Facebook message to one of our officers that got this case moving, though. When you post … on Facebook, you have to figure that it is not going to stay private long.”