On 09-26-13, the Pacifica Police Department received an online anonymous crime tip that was based on a posting to a public website. The posting was a video depicting a female adult walking/hiking on a trail in a mountainous area. The camera was then turned towards the subject filming the video, who was wearing a ski mask.
The Pacifica Police Department received numerous calls regarding the video, as concerned citizens noted the video appeared to imply that something criminal was going to happen to the female in the video.
The area where the video was filmed was identified as a trail on Montara Mountain under the jurisdiction of the U.S. Park Police. The Pacifica Police Department continued the investigation as the primary investigative agency.
On 10-01-13, the Pacific Police Investigations Unit positively identified the person who filmed the video and made contact with him at a Pacifica location. During their contact with the subject, he was uncooperative with detectives, and asserted his right to post such a video. During the interview the subject admitted to filming the video, but denied harming or contacting the female in the video. While it appears the video was designed to illicit a response from the public, posting such a video does not constitute a violation of the law.
The Pacifica Police Department would like to remind citizens to always exercise good personal safety, especially when enjoying secluded areas such as hiking trails or walking paths that aren’t readily visible. It is recommended that people enjoy such areas with a companion, and have a cellular phone readily available to call 911 if needed.