Our client was involved in an altercation with a bouncer at a Boca Raton nightclub that resulted in an injury when the bouncer dislocated the client’s shoulder. Police responded and, based on the bouncer’s allegations, arrested the client for assault. Humiliated by the arrest and suffering from his injury, the client retained counsel, who hired us to conduct a background investigation on the bouncer.
We conducted a records check and database search, finding several addresses and minor traffic infractions. A request to various law enforcement agencies for incident reports in which the bouncer was listed as a complainant, witness, suspect or other returned only two reports from the local police, one of which was the case involving our client. The other report documented an injury from a car crash. There was nothing significant or substantial in the database reports or court search, other than a negligence suit filed on behalf of the subject for his injury sustained in the crash.
With little information of value developed from the official records searches conducted, we turned our attention to social media, specifically Facebook and Twitter. We were able to identify our subject by his distinctive name. We were surprised to find that he had no privacy filters in place, and we were able to peruse his entire site with no restrictions.
As discussed in the accompanying article, “5.5 Features of Facebook for Florida Attorneys,” we were able to obtain a photograph of the bouncer from his profile page. We learned where he had gone to high school and where he attended college (before dropping out). We discovered that he liked a variety of sports and particularly mixed martial arts (MMA). We identified a number of friends and relationships with several women that seemed to be happening simultaneously.
While all of this information provided us with a personal profile of our subject, his likes and dislikes and activities, it was his photo page that provided the information we were really looking for.
Here, with no privacy settings in place, and for all the world to see, were photos depicting the subject engaged in a variety of activities that can best be described as “wild.” He was shirtless at a bar, dancing provocatively on a table with his pants pulled down exposing his posterior. He was drinking multiple shots. One photo had him “break dancing” on the dance floor. Others had him groping and fondling several women. Many of the photos were posted by date, establishing that this activity was not isolated, but occurring over several months. Dozens of posted photos documented the bouncer’s busy social life, with comments that added to the extraordinary activities depicted.
There were only two videos. The first video appeared to be taken from the subject’s cell phone as he was driving, a short monologue featuring his complaints about a woman who had spurned his advances the night before.
The second video was taken on a web cam on the subject’s laptop computer. This rambling video, posted about three months before our client was injured and arrested, documented the subject’s anger and dismay over being fired from his job as a bouncer at the same nightclub where he was employed when he encountered our client. In the video, he complained about several of the female employees who claimed he was “harassing” them, sexually and physically. He was angry with the owner of the nightclub, who had “taken sides” against him with the girls. He acknowledged that he had “taken care of” some unruly patrons for the owner, and that the owner called him a “liability” and fired him.
Over the course of twenty minutes, the subject conveniently placed his face within a foot of the web cam to ensure that his identity could not be denied. He provided us with his personal statement about his boorish behavior, his prior bad acts, and his termination based on his employer’s claim that he was a “liability.” And three months later, this same subject was back at work in the same bar, and apparently, engaging in the same behavior that got him fired the first time.
We were able to secure a copy of the video using a software program designed to capture web-based video. We also captured copies of the photographs of the subject dancing and moving about, since these were also posted on dates that were subsequent to his injury claim. Since the suit named the defense attorneys representing the insured adverse vehicle, these photos might have been a valuable negotiating tool in dealing with both the subject and the nightclub.
With the video and photos provided to the client’s attorney, we concluded the investigation. The end results were not disclosed, but we had a great time gathering the information and seeing how much could be garnered through this unique media.
When you need to gather information from Facebook, Twitter, Instagram or other social media sites, contact the professionals at Complete Legal Investigations, Inc., at 561-687-8381, or visit us at www.CompleteLegalInvestigations.com.
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