Rowan Co. Makes 1st Arrest in Instagram Investigation
SALISBURY, N.C. - 17-year-old Juan Bautista is the guy detectives say has admitted to creating an Instagram account called "thesehoes01." Bautista was arrested Friday at West Rowan High School. He's charged with cyberbullying after posting a topless picture of a 15-year-old classmate. The girl sent the picture to her boyfriend, who shared it with Bautista. When she found out about it, she told the school resource officer.
We went to Bautista's Woodleaf home and called him, but couldn't connect. WCCB News @ Ten anchor Morgan Fogarty was able to speak with one of his friends. WRHS Senior Zack Russell says, "I've know him for, before high school, and I never woulda thought that he woulda done anything like that. Hard for me to believe and swallow that he's getting in trouble for something like this."
Bautista is the first arrest in an investigation now spanning 10 North Carolina counties. Rowan County Sheriff Kevin Auten says this is likely a copy-cat case, because Bautista's alleged account was up for one day and only one picture was posted. Auten says, "He's not been in trouble, not a real bad kid, an athlete in fact, and, I think it was just, if we could get in his head, he saw it and thought it was funny to do it. And cute."
"Cute" is not how law enforcement is treating this offensive, illegal social media trend. They say they're doing their part, but they can't do it alone. Auten says, "Parents and the teenagers have to take some responsibility for this. If you don't allow those pictures to be taken and you don't send them out or you don't take them, then these things won't happen."
Bautista's also been suspended from school. And we told you Thursday that Landis Police are investigating three other Instagram accounts. We learned Friday detectives have uncovered the email and IP addresses associated with those accounts. Next step: the names of the people behind them.