Police using social media to track down vandalism suspects

Public helps police ID vandals from protest

PORTLAND, Ore. -- A 20-year-old from Portland, wanted for smashing the windshields of cars  during a riot last Thursday, had his first court appearance Wednesday.

Mateen Shaheed appeared by video.

He's charged with six counts of criminal mischief in the first degree. His mother was in court and said he understands the seriousness of the charges.

“He was ready to face his consequence,” said Michelle Hornbeck. She said her son was ready to surrender when police caught him in Estacada Monday.

“I was actually waiting for him. To bring him in myself personally. But somebody said where he was and they just went and got him,” Hornbeck said.

She would not comment on her son's actions or what he was thinking. But she did say the person on video is not the son she knows.

“I understand that a lot of people have opinions and are making judgments already -- the person they saw is not who he really is,” she insisted.

Investigators credit the public with identifying and helping bring Shaheed in.

“With that particular case there was an overwhelming amount of tips coming in to identify that individual,” said police spokesman Sgt. Pete Simpson.

Shaheed has a recent criminal history. Police arrested him last July for punching his girlfriend in the face.

They’d been called to the scene by someone who saw a man smashing the windshield of a car.

Court documents show Shaheed dropped out of school after the 11th grade and did not get his G.E.D. He has no job and gets $198 a month in food stamps.

Investigators say they will share more images as they find them and hope to make more arrests.

“It’s really a unique way to do an investigation. We’re essentially crowd sourcing to the public these cases so we get feedback. And as we get feedback and make arrests we want to share that with the public,” said Sgt. Simpson.


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