Wanted man surrenders after police complete his Facebook challenge

Wanted man surrenders after police complete his Facebook challenge

A man who was on the run from police in the US handed himself in after officers completed a challenge he’d set them on Facebook.

Michael Zaydel promised to surrender and buy officers doughnuts if Redford Township Police Department got a thousand likes on a post.

The force reached the target in less than an hour. He’s now serving eight weeks in jail.

The 21-year-old from Michigan was wanted for drink-driving and assault.

Image caption Redford Township’s Sergeant Duane Gregg and Officer Jennifer Mansfield

Officer Jennifer Mansfield told Newsbeat: “We are very active with social media in our community. Mr Zaydel had been spending some time trolling our pages.

“Basically being a nuisance, he made threats about messing with the kids’ Halloween candy and was telling us about his feelings towards law enforcement.”

During the exchanges on Facebook, Michael Zaydel used the alias Champagne Torino but officers soon realised it was him.

Officer Mansfield said: “He challenged us to get 1,000 shares by our next post. We accepted his challenge.

“We had a thousand in less than an hour. This went worldwide.”

This is a Facebook post of officers accepting Michael Zaydel's challenge

As well as saying he’d surrender, Michael Zaydel promised to buy a dozen doughnuts, a bagel (for an officer who didn’t eat doughnuts) and clean up the area around the local school.

A Facebook post from Redford Township police congratulating people for helping reach their target

Police officers at Redford Township Police station then had to wait patiently to see if the 21-year-old criminal would stick to his word.

Officer Mansfield said: “We waited and we waited. It took him a while on but Monday evening he did in fact turn himself in.

“He brought us a dozen doughnuts and the bagel for my partner Sergeant Gregg.”

Police officer holding donuts and a bagel

Image caption The doughnuts and bagel given to officers at Redford Township police station

Officer Mansfield said her department doesn’t usually use Facebook as a tool to catch criminals but it is open to the idea if it gets results.

“We had a good time throughout the entire interaction, the community seemed to enjoy everything. I think it was successful because we did in fact go into it with a touch of humour,” she added.

Michael Zaydel walks into the police station

Image caption Michael Zaydel walks into the police station carrying a bag of doughnuts

“We haven’t publicly come out and said ‘Everybody turn yourself in’, but obviously we always give respect to those that honour their word.”

Michael Zaydel is serving eight weeks in jail in which time he’ll also have to pay fines or face spending another four weeks inside.

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