Vigilante Blogger Exposes Teen Vandals Through Facebook Statuses

This Halloween, teens descended on a Brooklyn neighborhood and proceeded to act like snotty teens on Halloween. A local blogger documented the mayhem, befriended some of the teens on Facebook, then posted their profiles and incriminating status updates.

Here's how Brooklyn blogger Daniel Cavanagh described the Battle of Gerritsen Beach on his blog, GerritsenBeach.net:

50+ teens held their ground at Gerritsen and Florence Avenues and Seba Avenue Park for a better part of Halloween. They formed a firing line on both sides of Gerritsen Avenue. They were throwing the eggs, shaving cream cans, potatoes, rocks, at anything that drove past and anyone who dared to confront them. They even started throwing eggs at people, parents with young children and strollers.

Cavanagh posted a bunch of photos of the kids in action, the damage they allegedly caused, as well as a few of their Facebook profiles. 15-year-old Michael Guiseppone, for example, had updated his status: ""Bombing … hitting cop cars … broke 2 bus truck windows." Now police say they're looking into the incident. Whoops, busted by a blogger.

Vigilante Blogger Exposes Teen Vandals Through Facebook Statuses

But one oversharing kid's angry mom showed up at a Gerritsen Beach Property Owners Association meeting yesterday. There, she claimied Cavanagh befriended her 12-year-old son using a pseudonym in order to access his incriminating Facebook profile.

It is illegal—and I found this out through a lawyer—it is illegal for a grown man to take a minor's post, copy it and repost it. I want to know what gives the right of this 26-year-old man to go around and befriend these children and talk to them on this website and provoke them.

It actually could be legally questionable. Journalists have to be careful in interviewing minors without their parents' consent, or risk facing lawsuits later on. If befriending a kid on Facebook to look at their statuses constitutes interviewing, and bloggers count as journalists, Cavanagh might have to watch his back.

For the kid in question, though, Cavanagh's post is a godsend, since it probably got his mom off his back about (allegedly) pelting cop cars with potatoes. Here she is berating Cavanagh at yesterday's meeting: