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By Eric Lieberman
A man wanted for rape commented on a North Carolina police department’s Facebook post that was asking for the public’s help to find and arrest him.
The Cabarrus County Sheriff’s Office published a “Wanted” notice on its social media account Tuesday with the picture of Derek Lee Helms, who has outstanding warrants charging him with kidnapping and rape.
Helms decided to comment on the thread after he saw that a user named Brian Stallings called him “a great guy.” The man asserted that Helms “worked hard” for him at a prior job and always talked about how much he loved his kids.
“I will not believe that anyof (sic) these charges are true,” Stallings wrote, adding that he would be willing to vouch for Helms if necessary.
“Thanks bud really appreciate it enjoyed working with yall guys aswell . truth coming out bfor long vindictive and spitfullness and some croked cops,” Helms responded.
Two minutes after Helms made the comment, the official Facebook account for the sheriff’s office replied on the thread by tagging Helms (which sends him a notification) and writing “you need to turn yourself in.”
Other users responded with complete shock and appreciation of what kind of interactions social media is able to foster.
“DID THAT JUST HAPPEN?” one user said in astonishment.
“What kind of idiot comments on a post about his warrant,” another said while adding several “face with tears of joy” emojis.
Helms has reportedly not yet been found.
He isn’t the only one to engage on Facebook in such manner while acting as a fugitive. (RELATED: ‘Contagious’ Double-Murder Suspect Live Streams Escape From Police On Facebook)
A Florida man was arrested in August after he changed his Facebook profile picture to the local authorities’ “Wanted of the Week” poster.