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Motorcyle Rider Outruns Cops, Gets Arrested after Facebook Bragging

By Stephanie Rabiner, Esq. on August 31, 2011 9:48 AM

If 19-year-old Justin West of Yakima County, Washington learned anything over the weekend, it's that a little bit of Facebook bragging can lead to a lot of trouble.

The teen had been spotted by local law enforcement riding his off-road motorcycle in a residential area Saturday evening, but when they tried to stop him, he sped off into a ditch where the cruiser was unable to follow.

He then followed up with a Facebook post bragging about his escape.

Unfortunately for West, a few hours later, police received an anonymous tip about that post, reports the Los Angeles Times.

An officer then logged onto his personal Facebook account, found West's personal profile, and then printed out the incriminating statements and photographs of the bike.

Deputies then executed a search warrant at 4 a.m. (yes, Facebook posts can be probable cause), with the Times reporting that Justin West acknowledged that he was in fact the rider from the previous evening.

Cited for reckless driving and a host of other traffic infractions, West's decision to flee from police and his subsequent Facebook bragging will factor heavily into his punishment.

More often than not, a reckless driving ticket results in a fine and maybe a short license suspension, but with such aggravating factors, West could face a longer suspension and possibly jail time.

Besides the potential for harsher punishment, the story of Justin West and his Facebook bragging proves one other very important point: you shouldn't trust your Facebook friends not to rat you out to police.

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