A 40-year-old man went behind bars today for allegedly sending sexually motivated messages to someone he believed to be a 14-year-old boy in Palm Desert.
The Hemet man was arrested Tuesday night on suspicion of contacting a minor to commit a felony and attempting to orally copulate with a person under the age of 16, according to Sgt. Josh Button of the Riverside County Sheriff’s Department.
Button said a group of YouTube influencers made a service call around 4 p.m. that day in the 72300 block of the 111 Freeway.
“The group called dispatch to notify the department that they would be confronting a male working in the area regarding sexually motivated communications he was having with a person they believed to be a 14-year-old boy,” Button said in a statement. . “The group broadcast the confrontation live on YouTube.”
The group was then taken to the Palm Desert Sheriff’s Station, where they provided deputies with communications between their costume of the boy and, allegedly, the suspect, according to Button.
The suspect was later booked into the John J. Benoit Detention Center in Indio, where he remains being held with $55,000, according to court records.
Anyone with more information on the suspect was asked to call Palm Desert Sheriff’s Station Investigator José Munoz at 760-836-1600.