Thursday, November 12, 2009

Saved by Technology

From IrelandOn-Line

Facebook alibi clears teenager accused of robbery
(that would be Nov.12 on this side of the Pond)

A New York teenager accused of robbery has been cleared of all charges after providing a Facebook alibi.

Rodney Bradford spent 12 days in prison after being arrested on suspicion of holding up two people close to his home in Brooklyn.

But the 19-year-old was eventually released after it was found that an update on the social networking site placed him at his father’s flat across town in Harlem.

The message placed one minute before the robbery occurred on October 17 asked “WHERE MY IHOP?”, a reference to the popular US pancake house.

It was intended for his pregnant girlfriend, whom he had hoped would cook up a plate of the breakfast snack.

Instead, it provided proof that Mr Bradford was nowhere near the robbery when it took place. Experts confirmed it was typed from the keyboard of his father’s computer.

It backed-up witness statements claiming that the teenager was at his dad’s house at the time of the incident.

But the discovery of the online alibi did not save him from a short stint at Rikers Island, New York’s jail facility.

Speaking to the New York Post, Mr Bradford said: “They had me on Rikers island for 12 days. It was really miserable.”

He added: “It it wasn’t for Facebook I’d still be on Rikers Island.”

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