Some might call it Community Policing 2.0 or simply letting a wanted man feed off the crowd how Redford Township police got Michael Zaydel into custody.
The officers used Facebook and called on virtual friends to land Zaydel, a 21-year-old man who had several outstanding misdemeanor warrants, on Monday.
Zaydel goaded police with antagonizing comments on the department’s Facebook page under his pen name, Champagne Torino. For example, he wrote, “You guys suck” under a home invasion post.
He also allegedly wrote veiled threats to officers and residents, so police threatened to block him. “Michael, given your veiled threats to residents and officers on other threads, and your inability to engage in constructive dialogue on this page, this is your one warning. If it continues you will be blocked,” police said in a post.
Later on Friday, Torino challenged police in a private Facebook message saying if their next post received 1,000 shares, he would turn himself in, bring a dozen doughnuts to the station and pick up litter around public schools.
Redford police obliged and made public his private message. As of late Monday, their post had 4,453 shares.
On Monday, the alleged misdemeanant turned himself in.
“This evening at approximately 6:30 pm Michael Zaydel made good on his promise to turn himself in to RTPD for his outstanding warrants,” according to the Redford Township Police Department’s Facebook page.
“He walked in on his own, and not only did he bring the donuts, he brought one bagel! We would again like to express our gratitude for the support of all who followed this, shared it, and left us positive feedback.”
Zaydel will have a hearing Tuesday morning at 17th District Court, police said.
The Redford Township police Facebook post included five photos of Zaydel arriving, dressed in a gray hoodie. As of late Monday, the post had more than 800 likes, and nearly 300 people had shared it.
“Gotta love a man of his word,” wrote Kierstin Gregory Fiscus. “Hopefully, he’ll take a lesson from all of this and turn his behavior around so as to avoid further interactions with the law.”
Before Zaydel turned himself in, police thanked the community for its help.
“It is amazing the support we get from the community,” the post on the Facebook page said on Oct. 6. “(Zaydel) gave us a challenge. That challenge was accepted. He may or may not be a man of his word. It is our experience everyone gets caught at some point. He has drawn a lot of attention to himself, and that makes it hard to hide from reality. The important thing to be seen here is the support of the community, and the desire to help. Our jobs would be next to impossible without that partnership. 1000 shares in just over an hour! While this was fun, it was also educational. Thank you.”