It took just a few hours for internet sleuths to find the clues that may lead to the capture of the suspects behind an alleged hate-crime attack on a gay couple last week.
Twitter user GreggyBennett posted a picture of a group of individuals at a dinner party similar in appearance and garb to that of the 15 "clean cut and well dressed" suspects identified by police as being part of the group that attacked two gay men, sending both to the hospital and leaving one with his jaw wired shut after surgery.
Philly hate crime: pic.twitter.com/i3PBprO9nn— Greg Bennett (@GreggyBennett) September 17, 2014
Bennett, whose profile says he lives in San Francisco, first posted a picture Facebook of a dinner party that seemed to show the suspects seen in the surveillance video.
While no arrests have been made in this case and it is not certain the dinner party picture is from the same night as the attack, the individuals at the party resemble the suspects in appearance and in clothing.
FanSince09, an anonymous Twitter user, asked his 8,700 followers for help identifying the restaurant.
It was quickly determined to be La Viola Restaurant, at 16th and Latimer streets, just a few streets south of where the beat-down allegedly took place.
Then, by searching through people who had 'checked in' at La Viola on Facebook, FanSince09 claimed to have identified several suspects.
Pretty confident I have at least 3 positive IDs.— FanSince09 (@FanSince09) September 17, 2014
Now, reports say lawyers for several of the suspects have contacted police and are seeking to turn themselves in.
If you're going to gay bash don't fill your FB profile with gay slurs and also delete that resturant check in from earlier— FanSince09 (@FanSince09) September 17, 2014
The PPD's Detective Joe Murray thanked the social media detectives for their help, but reminded them that no charges have been filed and no one is officially under arrest -- yet.
This is how Twitter is supposed to work for cops. I will take a couple thousand Twitter detectives over any one real detective any day.— Joseph Murray (@PPDJoeMurray) September 17, 2014
Let's be clear here. No arrests made. Central Detectives have done a ton of work and have a lot more to do. (Not a law & order episode)— Joseph Murray (@PPDJoeMurray) September 17, 2014
Check back for more on this story as it develops.