Farmington Indecent Exposure Case Goes Viral
More than 80 websites have published mug shots of a couple caught in flagrante delicto behind a Farmington restaurant.
When I go through the police reports, whether it's in Farmington or Farmington Hills, there are stories I don't report. Today, one of those stories is featured on more than 80 websites – including the Daily Mail, out of the United Kingdom.
The facts are these: On Sept. 3, a Farmington public safety officer responded to a complaint about a vehicle parked behind a restaurant on Farmington Road in downtown Farmington. He found the windows steamed up and the car rocking slightly, and saw the occupants were engaged in ... well, what one might expect under those circumstances. The 54-year-old man and 71-year-old woman, both intoxicated, were arrested; they are now facing charges of indecent exposure.
There are other, more salacious details being reported – if you're interested, head over to mailonline.com, thesmokinggun.com, perezhilton.com, jalopnik.com, or just go to Google.com and type in "71-year-old woman" + "Farmington Michigan". It's even on Facebook.
Because I can only report on a small portion of all the police activity in our communities, I choose based on the type of crime. I look for burglaries, thefts from automobiles, business break-ins, drunk driving, drug arrests. It seems to me people should know where those crimes are taking place, in order to protect themselves.
Four drunk driving arrests around Grand River and Halsted Roads means you should probably be cautious in that area. What's the value of reporting that two intoxicated people got steamed up in a car? If you look at the reporting of the story being done now, it's apparently poking fun at their ages and their mugshots.
When today's groundswell of attention started, I turned to my trusted Patch colleagues for advice. Two of them said while it doesn't pass the "family friendly breakfast test," they might have run a watered down version of the story, because this happened close to a restaurant and among the diners was a child.
I see the point. And if the child had been more directly involved, I would have looked harder at the story.
Ultimately, I base these kinds of decisions on my perception of what you want. I think you come to Farmington-Farmington Hills Patch to find news you can use, not news of the lewd.
Tell me what you think.