A fugitive who struck a deal with Connecticut police to turn himself in if his wanted poster gets 15,000 likes on Facebook still hasn't kept his end of the bargain.
On May 22, the City of Torrington Police Department posted on Facebook a wanted poster of two suspects, one of which was Jose Simms.
Earlier this week, 29-year-old Simms reached out to the town's lieutenant on Facebook and made the deal. The department said Simms originally asked for 20,000 likes, but the police lieutenant wanted 10,000 likes. Lt. Brett Johnson, the officer-in-charge, negotiated to bring down the deal to 15,000.
Fugitive Jose Simms Strikes Deal With Police But Still Hasn't Shown Up
Simms is due for an interview with authorities because he has four arrest warrants for first-degree failure to appear in court and three arrest warrants for second-degree failure to appear.
The police did not offer any other details on the charges against Simms.
On Wednesday morning, the Torrington Police Department asked followers to share and like the wanted poster so it garners more reactions.
The police officer said the deal is difficult but doable.
"So please, 'like' this post, and while you're at it share it, Tweet it, Instagram it, Snapchat it, WUPHF it ... or use whatever other platforms are out there that I don't know about," said the officer.
Within 13 hours, the post gained 17,000 reactions.
As of writing, Simms still hasn't shown up in the police precinct despite the post garnering at least 27,000 reactions.
Lt. Johnson said the page is getting a lot of inquiries as to whether Simms has shown up, but he said they will update details if the suspect does appear.
The police believe the young man is somewhere in New York. Despite the no-show, the police said they are satisfied with their decision to enter into an agreement with the young fugitive.
Lt. Bart Barown said the police have all kinds of information and tips that can help them find Simms.
"It's generated phone calls and tips and leads that we otherwise may not have been able to get," said Barown.
He said national media publicity will make it harder for Simms to hide.
The Facebook Deal Receives Some Backlash
Police ethics and procedure expert Maki Haberfeld said the fugitive is using social media to manipulate the police and the news.
Haberfeld, who is from the John Jay College of Criminal Justice, said the police has no business negotiating with a suspect, especially a deal that involves likes on Facebook.
She said people will start looking at violations of law as a game.
"It turns this into a joke," added Haberfeld.
Simms appears to be an internet troll. On Wednesday, Simms had posted that he was a "man of my word" and that he negotiated the deal because looking over his shoulder caused him a lot of stress.
Simms even responded to the wanted poster on the Torrington Police Department Facebook. He complained that the wanted poster was a "trash pic" of himself.
Simms has already taken down his Facebook account. He has also declined requests for comments. Meanwhile, the police is determined to find Simms.