Four men, including a Pennsylvania police officer, were taken into custody by police in Atlantic City, New Jersey, for allegedly trying to meet with underage boys for sex.
The men were busted as part of a sting operation conducted by concerned citizens who are part of a group called Colorado Ped Patrol. The group posed as underage boys on social media and arranged to meet with the suspects.
Members of the group shared the messages with the police before the meeting. When the suspects arrived, members of the group were waiting with cameras rolling. Video from one of the encounters shows group member Thomas Fellows confronting Central Bucks Regional Police Corporal Clifford Horn, who allegedly set up a meeting using Grindr with who he thought was a 14-year-old boy.
Horn initially denied he was there to meet the child, but Fellows kept pressing him.
"Your zipper's down, by the way," Fellows said. "You're standing in front of the running car. We got your text messages. Listen, man, you want to talk and tell us why you're here?"
"I'm not trying to meet with a child," Horn said as he started to walk away. As he tried to leave, he was taken into custody by waiting officers.
The Central Bucks Regional Police Commission issued a statement saying that Horn has been suspended without pay, effective immediately.
"The Police Commission and CBRPD hold in profound regard not only a police officer's commitment to uphold the law but also their commitment to law enforcement's code of ethics and conduct in the community," the department said in a statement.
The other three suspects were identified as Jose Machuca, 51, Eugene Pulley, 49, and Sambatrimiaina Raminoson, 26. All four men were charged with attempted child luring and released.