HINSDALE — After identifying a suspect they said allegedly tried to drag a child out of Walmart Monday, Hinsdale police now say no crime was committed.
Detective Melissa Evans said video surveillance from the store showed no crime occurred. She said a Facebook post identifying the suspect in connection to the alleged crime — shared more than 1,000 times on Facebook — was updated Thursday to indicate no crime had been committed, then was taken down.
“As soon as it was learned that no crime occurred, the post was updated,” she said.
Evans did not provide a reason for why the post was taken down after being updated, saying she could not answer any further questions on the case.
Chief Todd Faulkner told WMUR Wednesday that there may have been a misunderstanding but there was no crime.
Reached late this morning, Faulkner said the post was left online in error.
"We thought the post had been deleted; I pulled it as soon as I realized it hadn't," he said.
He added he'll be "re-evaluating the whole Facebook thing anyway."
He said the post had generated a number of negative responses in the comments section and that other Facebook posts had also been problematic.
"Our job isn't punitive," he said, adding that social media posts run the risk of "persecution before people even get to court."
Of the investigation itself, Faulkner said when his department originally posted on the case, it had only the narrative from the store and a captured image of the man in question. Once he had the full video, he determined there was "no nefarious intent" and the incident wasn't criminal in nature.
In a statement on Facebook this morning, Hinsdale police said, "The image that was posted was done so in an attempt to quickly identify a person that was reported to have acted with possible nefarious intentions against a child. Our responsibility and job is to investigate this report and act accordingly. We have since determined that there was no criminal action on the part of the subject [whose] image was posted.
"Upon clearing this case we did attempt to take the posting down however for an unknown reason the post removal was unsuccessful and upon learning that the deletion did not occur it was successfully removed."