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Neon Tommy - Annenberg digital news

Blacklisted: The Modern Day Criminal

Aja Dang |
June 26, 2011 | 9:43 a.m. PDT

Staff Reporter

Dumb criminals, we’ve all heard the stories:

The Dallas man who tried to cash a fake check for $360 billion; two would-be robbers who tried to disguise their faces with permanent markers; or the silly crooks who called a Connecticut bank to tell

Valdez and his "hostage" Veronica
Valdez and his "hostage" Veronica
them to get $100,000 ready for their arrival. 

Some people will never learn.

Fortunately for us, the Internet has given criminals a new way to show their stupidity. 

Jason Valdez, a 36-year-old Utah man, held a woman hostage for 16-hours, all the while updating his Facebook status. 


Police in Ogden, Utah tried to serve Valdez with a warrant for failure to appear in court on a drug charge. That is when Valdez barricaded himself inside a room in the Western Colony Inn and refused to come out until he was good and ready. 

Over the course of the stand-off with SWAT, Valdez updated his Facebook status six times, including a status update to correct the misspelling of “OPD” (Ogden Police Department), a post of two pictures of him and a woman named Veronica with the caption, “Got a cute ‘hostage’ huh?” and befriending at least a dozen new Facebook friends. 

And no, he didn’t tag her in the pictures. 

As his friends and family read the updates, some responded with concern, others offered words of encouragement, and one decided to aid and abet. 

According to NEWS.com.au, one of his friends posted that police had a “gun ner in the bushes stay low.”

Authorities believe that his friend gave him an advantage and are discussing whether he should be arrested for obstruction of justice. 

In his last post Valdez wrote, 

Status from Valdez's Facebook
Status from Valdez's Facebook

SWAT broke into the room 90 minutes later and Valdez shot himself in the chest before he could get arrested. On Tuesday he was in critical condition but no one else was injured.    

This wasn’t Valdez’s first incident with law enforcement as court records reveal; he has quite the criminal historyincluding convictions for aggravated assault and domestic violence in front of a child. Police say Valdez could now be facing new charges including firing his hand gun at police. 

It is a sad day when we are so used to letting others into our personal business that people don’t even blink an eye when deciding to update their status while committing a felony. 

I would understand posting a final good-bye status if Valdez had decided to go balls to the wall in a gun fight that would make Jack Bauer proud, but making side comments during a stand-off is ridiculous and forever solidifies his stupidity on the information superhighway. 

That’s OK Valdez, even though you will probably have to (gasp) delete your Facebook account and forever be Blacklisted, you still have Twitter.


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