More in Police:
By Mike Hazlip—
A self-described “predator hunter” and Mixed Martial Arts fighter going by the name “Kilo Hansen” has begun dedicating his time to confronting alleged pedophiles, and uploading recordings of the confrontations to YouTube.
In a recent 26-minute video posted on Nov. 5, Hansen is shown confronting a man he called “David” at the Valero gas station on the corner of Antelope Road and Auburn Boulevard in Citrus Heights. In the video, Hansen claims he was using a decoy to pose as an underage girl and boy to communicate with David through a dating app.
He claims David attempted to lure the decoys to a meeting at a nearby park for sex. In the video, Hansen presents the alleged predator with printed chat logs and says law enforcement is on the way.
A confrontation ensues, and at one point gets physical when David ends up on the ground after Hansen warns him several times to back away. David then walks away, with Hansen following him for several blocks, shouting obscenities and accusations.
“You’re a sick f**k bro,” Hansen can be heard saying repeatedly on the video as he follows the other man along Auburn Boulevard. He also yells “call the police” to drivers stopped in traffic, and tells them: “He’s here to f**k a 13-year-old.”
Police eventually arrive while the pair are outside the Grand Oaks shopping center, but the video cuts off before viewers can see the outcome. Text added to the video says David “was booked,” but a police lieutenant told The Sentinel no one was taken into custody during the incident — although he confirmed the incident is still under active investigation.
“The necessary evidence to substantiate a crime of this nature takes time to collect and is more commonly done by law enforcement officers working on a specially trained task force, not done by citizens,” Citrus Heights Police Lt. Chad Morris said in an email to The Sentinel. He said police received a call just after 2 p.m. on Oct. 28, from a member of the community who observed the altercation.
Surveillance camera video from the Valero gas station also shows the altercation occurring about 2 p.m. on October 28. Employees at the location told The Sentinel they assumed Hansen, who identifies himself as an “undercover agent” in the video, was working with law enforcement.
In an interview with The Sentinel, Hansen said his goal is to make his community a safer place. He said he uses his street name “Kilo,” to protect his real name.
“I want to raise awareness,” he said. “People in the community need to know that these guys exist and what they’re doing.”
A video posted two weeks ago on his Youtube channel, Kilos World, indicates the Citrus Heights video is the first in a “new web series” about busting child predators. A second video was uploaded on Nov. 12, with Hansen confronting an alleged child predator in Marysville.
Hansen is one of a growing number of “Predator hunters” inspired by broadcast series like Dateline NBC’s “To Catch a Predator” that aired from 2004 to 2007. In the series, television news reporter Chris Hansen used decoys to lure several men to a house where he confronts them.
A report published Saturday by FoxNews details Roo Powell, a woman in Connecticut who poses as an underage girl. Powell is the founder of Safe from Online Sex Abuse, a nonprofit organization dedicated to raise awareness about what she sees as an increasing problem with online chat rooms and messaging apps, according to the report. Powell’s operation is the subject of a current series on Discovery Plus titled Undercover Underage.
Hansen says he works with Perverted Justice and Tetrad Core, organizations that provide financial and legal support. The decoys are all over the age of 18, but pose as children between the ages of 12 to 16, he said. They are trained in sending specific messages to elicit a response that will incriminate a potential predator.
“A lot of these guys, they know what they’re doing is wrong and they try to ensure it’s not a sting so you have to gain their trust a little bit,” Hansen said. “Our decoys will talk to these guys from one to two weeks.”
Finding potential predators is surprisingly easy, according to Hansen. He said he met his latest subject using a widely available dating app, MeetMe. The app’s terms of service say users must be over 18 but that users are responsible for their own safety. The terms repeatedly state: “We do not conduct criminal background checks on our members.”
MeetMe’s parent group, The Meet Group does provide an online resource aimed at increasing the safety of the users, stating: “We care about your safety and have created a resource to help you use MeetMe.”
Police say they don’t encourage private sting operations because of inherent dangers and other risks.
“[L]aw enforcement encourages the community to report suspicious activity related to this or other matters needing criminal investigation to their local law enforcement agency,” Morris said. “Officers are specially trained in the investigation of these crimes and the collection of appropriate evidence, which is of paramount importance when filing cases with the District Attorney’s office in order to have the best possible chance of prosecution and subsequent conviction.”
“Citizens who engage in this highly dangerous ‘sting’ type behavior are putting themselves at risk for injury or possibly death by potential criminals who do not want to be caught, not to mention potentially corrupting a possible law enforcement initiated investigation.”
Hansen doesn’t see himself as a vigilante, but rather a concerned member of the community. He says he’s received a number of messages thanking him for his work, and public comments posted on his Youtube channel also show that what he does is appreciated.
“I wanted to make a difference in the community,” Hansen says of his actions in Citrus Heights. “I wanted to make it a safer community for me, for my family members and for everyone else.”
Thanks for reading The Sentinel. You are either trying to access subscribers-only content or you have reached your limit of 5 free articles per 30 days. Click here to sign in or subscribe.