Earlier this month, police officers in Michigan received a message from a Michael Zaydel, a 21-year-old man from Redford Township, Michigan who, at the time, had several warrants out for his arrest, letting them know that if they could get a Facebook post about him to get 1,000 shares, he’ll turn himself in. Amused, the officers accepted his challenge. Within an hour after sharing the challenge online, they managed to reach their goal. Making good on the agreement, the suspect subsequently turned himself in.
According to reports, Zaydel, who is also known online as “Champagne Torino,” initially sent the challenge to the Redford Township Police Department using Facebook’s private messaging service. “Yeah, I’m not worried about [being arrested]. If you’re [sic] next post gets a thousand shares I’ll turn myself in along with a dozen doughnuts. And that’s a promise,” wrote Zaydel at the time. “And I’ll pick up every piece of litter around all your public schools. Let’s see if you can get those shares,” he added.
Shortly after receiving Zaydel’s message, the police department published a status on Facebook accepting his challenge. Specifically, they stated, “CHALLENGE ACCEPTED! Mr. Champagne Torino has issued the RTPD a challenge. As you can see below, if we can have this post SHARED 1000 times, he will turn himself into RTPD on his existing warrants, clean up [the] blight on public school property, and bring us a dozen donuts.”
In the same post, they also made it clear that the promise of doughnuts made them extremely excited, stating, “donuts!!!! He promised us donuts! You know how much we love Donuts!” Before concluding, they added, “help us win this challenge and clean up blight in Redford at the same time! It’s as easy as a SHARE of this post.”
Shockingly, it only took them a little over an hour to get 1,000 shares, which they celebrated in a second Facebook status that they posted soon after meeting their goal. “It is amazing the support we get from the community. Mr. ‘Torino’ gave us a challenge. That challenge was accepted,” they announced.
“He may or may not be a man of his word. It is our experience everyone gets caught at some point. He has drawn a lot of attention to himself, and that makes it hard to hide from reality,” they continued, noting, “the important thing to be seen here is the support of the community, and the desire to help. Our jobs would be next to impossible without that partnership. 1000 shares in just over an hour! While this was fun, it was also educational. Thank you.”
Zaydel, however, did not turn himself in right away, prompting the police department to publish a Facebook post asking the public for their help in tracking him down. Specifically, they wrote, “The Redford Township Police Department is seeking the public’s assistance in locating Michael Martin Zaydel, 21 years of age. Mr. Zaydel has multiple outstanding misdemeanor warrants out of the 17th District Court, and several other jurisdictions in this area.” In their post, they also jokingly added that he may be found at a local donut shop.
Despite not showing up at first, Zaydel eventually made good on his promise and turned himself in several days later. After booking him, the Redford Township Police Department went on Facebook and shared the good news with their followers.
“This evening at approximately 6:30 pm Michael Zaydel made good on his promise to turn himself in to RTPD for his outstanding warrants. He walked in on his own, and not only did he bring the donuts, he brought one bagel!” announced the department.
“Mr. Zaydel was lodged and will have a hearing tomorrow morning at the 17th District Court,” they continued, noting, “we would again like to express our gratitude for the support of all who followed this, shared it, and left us positive feedback.”
On his way inside the police station, Zaydel was stopped and briefly interviewed by reporters who were waiting for him out front. “The doughnuts [were] just a joke [because] cops like donuts, but I thought I’d bring them something for the inconvenience,” explained Zaydel.
“To be honest with you, I didn’t expect it to blow up this big….I’m disappointed that this is what our law enforcement agencies have come down to — reducing themselves to going back and forth with people on Facebook,” he continued, adding, “the 1,000 shares was just whatever, I was sure they could have gotten 5,000 if they wanted to. [But] I am keeping my word.”
When asked why it took him so long to finally turn himself in, Zaydel let them know that he first had to take care of some personal matters, stating, “I wasn’t going to drop everything. I had to have jaw surgery and stuff like that.”
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