Police are crediting a local Youtuber with helping in the arrest of a Clearfield County man accused of soliciting sex from people he believed to be minors.
The confrontation was caught on camera by self described Predator Catchers and is now being used as evidence in the case.
Douglas Braff spoke with the man behind the Youtube channel about the case and if he considers himself a Vigilante.
Some might call what he does Vigilantism, but to Shafiq Blake, it’s just justice.
“I started watching videos like this when COVID first started and I started binge-watching them. And then I had graduated college and I was like, ‘You know what, I wanna try this.’ And then I tried it and then I pretty much got addicted to catching these predators, ’cause I’ve always been interested in stuff like that. And I knew I had a criminal justice degree, so I was like, ‘Maybe I could have a good approach with talking to these guys.'”
Now, one of their catches faces charges in Clearfield County. The night of February 16th, Lawrence Township Police say Glenn Goodrich invited who he thought were teenagers to his hotel room.
They weren’t minors in fact, they confronted him on camera about why he was soliciting minors for sexual favors. The video on Blake’s channel Predator Catchers Pa made the rounds and eventually caught the attention of police.
Goodrich is now in custody and faces a number of statutory sexual assault charges.
“Without Predator Catchers PA and help of the public, there’s no way we would’ve caught this individual at this point in time, at least.”
But not everybody likes what Blake’s doing.
“So, most police that I deal with have been pretty cool, but I have had some that’s like, ‘Oh, you shouldn’t be doing this. You’re not low enforcement,’ and stuff like that. And, but for the most part, I think it’s been good.”
I then asked him what he thinks of the term “Vigilante.”
“I mean, it’s okay. I feel like it has like a good, a positive and negative meaning just depends on like who you tell it to or who you ask, but I’d say I’m more of like a witness to a crime or like, pretty much, I don’t know how to explain it, but I’d say a witness to a crime.”
He tells me he “feels great” that the Goodrich case is progressing saying it gives him more legitamacy in Pennsylvania with future cases.
“It could push more DAs to start taking more cases.”
“I’m just hoping that Glen gets prosecuted ’cause he invited a 14 and 16-year-old over and he’s 58 years old and he had no problem with the age at all was just worried about it being like a law enforcement officer. And that’s the only thing he cared about. Not like the morality of it.”
“I do think he will be convicted. He admitted everything on video.”
Goodrich waived his preliminary hearing Today, and now has six months to enter a plea deal or move the case to trial.