Hastings police respond to viral video alleging a sex predator
HASTINGS, Neb. (KSNB) - Hastings Police Wednesday addressed community concerns about a viral online video which accuses a local man of being a sex predator.
The video dropped Sep. 6 from an organization called Frontlines CSU (Child Safety Unit). The video shows a Frontlines camera crew confronting the man at the Hastings Walmart in July and accusing him of being a sex predator. The video shows scenes inside and outside the store. The man eventually left the store and drove away but not before hitting another vehicle in the parking lot. Police cited the man for a hit-and-run crash.
The video also portrays phone calls and social media messages between the man and a Frontlines employee posing as a 12-year-old girl. There are several graphic references to sex acts discussed during those exchanges.
In a press release posted on its Facebook page Wednesday, Hastings Police outlined two reasons why no-one has been arrested.
First, in the release, police claim to have no jurisdiction because the man in question did not live in Hastings at the time of the alleged crimes. Adams County Court records however list a Hastings address for the pending hit and run charges. But police told Local4 that he lived outside the city during most of the exchanges with the Frontlines decoy which began last winter.
Hasting Police Chief Adam Story said despite the issue of jurisdiction, that doesn’t stop them from looking into suspected criminal acts or making sure the proper agencies are made aware.
Second, police say Nebraska law requires that child enticement have an actual child victim or a law enforcement officer posing as a juvenile. Citizens, reporters, businesses or others outside of law enforcement cannot act as a child for the purpose of furthering a law violation regarding child enticement. The decoy used by Frontlines CSU did not meet that standard.
Chief Story added that law enforcement do conduct these types of investigations, and work with other agencies and task forces for sex crimes like these.
Police ask that anyone who has information about a sex crime should contact them immediately.
“For the community of Hastings, Nebraska continue to be vigilant in what you see and report to us,” said Chief Story. “We can’t do our job without our community and the support of our community reporting any type of suspicious activity or criminal activity that gives us the ability to investigate it.”
Local4 has learned the name of the man in question and has permission from Frontlines CSU to use its video. Given that no formal charge has been filed against the man, we have chosen not to report his name or use the video.
Here is the full text of the press release from Hastings Police:
“The Hastings Police Department would like to address a recent viral social media post of an incident in our community.
There was a video released on September 6, 2023 from Frontlines CSU (Child Safety Unit) on various social media platforms. Members of our community have shared the video from different social media platforms since it was originally posted.
Within the video, Reporter Kalen D’Almeida stated “Over the last year my team and I have worked tirelessly to develop methods to proactively protect children from online sex predators.” Within the video, he refers to an adult decoy from their team posing as a 12-year-old girl. The subject of his case is described as a 23-year-old male from Hastings. Kalen D’Almeida ends his video stating “Now we are going to place tons of pressure on Hastings P.D., the Detectives and everyone involved to make sure Chris, the transgender racist pedophile, is prosecuted to the fullest extent of the law and justice is served.”
The Hastings Police Department was notified on July 23, 2023 of a hit and run crash at Wal-Mart. This was called into the Hastings 911 Center by a third party, uninvolved in any events of this day. After the crash was reported, our assistance was later requested by Frontlines, at a parking lot in the 500 Block of South Burlington Avenue, reference a possible child enticement.
Present were the staff from Frontlines and the suspect from the hit and run crash. The male subject was issued a citation for the crash that occurred in the Wal-Mart parking lot. It was at this time we discovered why members of Frontlines were in our community. They had never previously contacted the Hastings Police Department or other Nebraska Law Enforcement Agencies. Since this was the first contact our agency had with this organization, we asked for them to explain their activity.
They explained their method of using a 12-year-old decoy, which is an adult from their organization, to obtain conversations and messages between them and the 23-year-old male. They provided us with the messages and conversations between the adult decoy and 23-year-old male.
Frontlines’ decoy reached out to the 23-year-old male in early February 2023. During the six-month timeframe, there was a period of approximately three months when the 23-year-old male and Frontlines did not communicate. Frontlines again reached out to the 23-year-old and resumed contact until the point their decoy asked the 23-year-old male to meet them in our community.
The Hastings Police Department reviewed all the content provided to us from Frontlines. We have also consulted with the Nebraska State Patrol, Federal Bureau of Investigations, and Adams County Attorney’s Office on the facts of this incident.
The Hastings Police Department takes all crimes against children very seriously. It is disappointing that no law enforcement entity was provided information prior to Frontlines’ arrival in Hastings and confronting the 23-year-old. If this had been reported to Nebraska criminal investigators sooner, law enforcement could have potentially conducted their own investigation following Nebraska law.
The first fact of this case is that the 23-year-old male does not live in our community. He has previously resided in the Hastings area and within his social media profile he used Hastings. He was outside the City of Hastings when receiving and sending most messages and calls to the decoy. The decoy was outside of the State of Nebraska during their communication. Due to this, the Hastings Police Department does not have legal jurisdiction or venue regarding the incident. We do not let those limitations in any investigation distract us from doing our job and we always contact the agencies who have jurisdiction.
The second fact of this case is that in the State of Nebraska, child enticement has to have a true child victim or the actor (decoy) must be law enforcement. Citizens, reporters, businesses or others outside of law enforcement cannot act as a child for the purpose of furthering a law violation regarding child enticement. There are also many processes which must be followed when conducting these types of investigations to ensure suspects are not baited or entrapped.
After full review of the incident with the Adams County Attorney’s Office, there are no criminal violations except the hit and run crash that was handled through citation. Information that Frontlines obtained cannot be used for any criminal action due to Nebraska State Law and the methods they used.
We understand that social media draws a lot of followers and comments with videos like the one Frontlines posted. Back in February of 2023, if they would have contacted a Nebraska Law Enforcement agency with jurisdiction, the outcome could possibly have been different. Due to their lack of understanding regarding Nebraska Laws and processes, they have obtained information that cannot legitimately be used by law enforcement to further an investigation or criminal prosecution with this incident.
Please report any ongoing or suspected criminal activity regarding child victims to Law Enforcement immediately.”
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