CALHOUN CO., Ala. (WBRC) - Three students created fake accounts on social media and caught 27-year-old Bradley White in a sting-like operation. What they did was dangerous and goes against everything police say, but their video was instrumental in his arrest.
A video uploaded to YouTube shows the moments the three confronted Bradley White in the electronics department at a Wal-Mart midnight Saturday night. White realizes what’s going on and leaves, but the boys follow him all the way to the parking lot, telling everyone they pass that White was there to “meet an underage kid”.
Before they met, the students pretended to be a 14 and 17-year-old boy on apps like Grindr. They say they were contacted by White, who initiated sexual conversations and sent explicit photos.
“We were inspired pretty much by Chris Hanson and a YouTube channel called Predator Poachers. And what they’re doing, it’s a good thing, and that inspired us to do something good,” says Dylan, one of the students.
They say when they found out White was a teacher they knew they had to get police involved. They also called Alexandria High School. White resigned Wednesday and was arrested Thursday.
"We're really happy that he's off the streets away from kids where he could potentially do more harm," says Cody, another student involved in the video.
"You know, what if this was a real kid? That could have absolutely destroyed that kid's life," says Dylan.
This is the second time these students have conducted a sting like this. But they are quick to say, 'don't try this at home'.
"Honestly it was stupid, very dangerous. Anything could have gone wrong at any time and I don't recommend it to anybody," says Cody.
While the video was monumental in making two arrests, law enforcement do not advise people to do this sort of thing.
"Kids that are doing this, their hearts are in the right place. And they want to try and do the right thing but it’s a dangerous dangerous proposition,” said Bill Veitch, a Former Jefferson County District Attorney. “Just for the safety reasons. You don’t know who you’re dealing with. What if somebody brings a weapon?”
White was charged with distributing obscene material to a student and a school employee having sexual contact with a student under 19. His bond is set at $6,000 for each offense. He’s due in court December 10.
During the course of the investigation, Calhoun County Sheriff’s Office said they arrested a second suspect, 23-year-old David Scott Fox, Jr.
Fox is charged with electronic solicitation of a child. Police say Fox also has three warrants against him for possession of child pornography.
His bond is set at $30,000. Fox is due in court Dec. 9.