Russell Goodwin and Jeremy Thomas think of themselves as the Pedophile Patrol.
One local news station called them "video vigilantes."
The two Oklahoma City dads have gained a modest Facebook following for their page, where they post videos of themselves confronting men they say are pedophiles. They call themselves "Oklahoma Pedophile Prevention."
They make their claims through similar tactics to those used by the show "To Catch a Predator," which ran on NBC from 2004 to 2007. They pose as teens and exchange either texts or social media messages with men around Oklahoma City they suspect to be sexual predators and arrange meetings with them, usually in public places.
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According to their Facebook page, they started their crusade against sexual abuse in April. On Monday, their late-night meet-up with an Oklahoma City man turned into an arrest — one in which chance played no small part.
According to the arrest report for Michael Gene Edwards, 46, a police officer was getting gas at a local OnCue gas station just after 11 p.m. when he noticed four men arguing in the same parking lot.
Goodwin and Thomas were two of those men. They flagged the officer down and told him that they had lured Edwards to the gas station by making him think "he was going to hook up with a 15-year-old named 'Jenny,' " according to the report.
They told KOCO that Edwards is the eighth suspected pedophile they've met up with. It was the first time, though, that the cops happened to be at the agreed-upon meeting location.
Edwards told police that he was just at the gas station to talk to "Jenny" and that sex wasn't a part of his plans for the evening. After reviewing the "chat messages" between him and the dads posing as "Jenny," police arrested Edwards, the report says.
"The Department does not condone this type of investigation by civilians as these confrontations could potentially be very dangerous," Officer Megan Morgan, an Oklahoma City Police Department spokeswoman, told McClatchy. "Officers are equipped and trained to deal with investigations of this nature, and we have specialized Units who specifically deal in these types of crimes."
According to KWTV, Edwards resides with his mother.
""What he does is his business; what I do is my business," his mother told the station. "He's 46 years old. I can't control him."
He remained in the Oklahoma County Jail on Thursday facing one count of lewd or indecent acts with a child under 16 and unauthorized use of a computer network, according to jail records. His bail for those two charges is listed at $34,000.