Hansen v.s. Predator


Photo courtesy of Pixabay, photo credits to iAmMrRob

Child predators use the online world to find underage boys and girls to prey on (Photo courtesy of Pixabay, photo credits to iAmMrRob).

To Catch a Predator is a show where fake profiles of young teens are set up in order to catch creepy adults now labeled as “predators.”

“[My friends and I] have been watching this show a lot lately and it is actually so creepy; the things that happen and people they catch are so interesting [to watch] get shocked [by the police],” said junior Liam Sinclair.

Chris Hansen is a television journalist that is part of several shows on the news media outlet, NBC. These include but are not limited to Crime Watch Daily, Killer Instinct, Homicide for the Holidays, and To Catch a Predator.

“I think that Hansen is really bringing more awareness to how bad things are in the world currently and what people are doing that is so bad,” said sophomore Enoch Orozco.

Working with the police, Hansen sets up a “sting” operation using pictures of actual young teenagers to make profiles to lure in adults looking to engage in sexual activity with minors. After messaging with the predator, they are invited to the sting house where a young girl or boy, called a decoy, is waiting for them.

“The predators really need [medical] help, for some of them to be in their 40’s and 50’s and going after like 13 year olds is really sickening,” said freshman Anne Lazureanu.

In the sting house, hidden cameras are set up to catch every angle and Chris Hansen, with his film crew, hide and wait for their opportunity to catch the predator off guard. The second the predator turns around, goes to the restroom, or goes in for a hug; Hansen pops out to switch places with the decoy.

“It’s really funny how the predators think that they are getting away with everything and it’s all great and then, boom, a man is questioning them and they are about to get sent to prison,” said junior Cade Wood.

Hansen questions the predator, asking what his plans for the visit were and if he had any items such as alcohol, condoms, and/or any drugs. These items can be used to add several years to a sentence, more money to a fine, or even both.

“I think that this is better that they get a longer sentence than they would have [without the items],” said eighth grader Dalana Gilbert from Hickory Tavern Middle School.

Some predators show up and have what is called a “kill kit” which include items such as weapons, cameras, rope, and a video tape, but can include many more.

“This one guy brought rope, a gun, tape, and a knife along with him to meet the girl, it was really freaky and I’m glad he got caught so he can’t cause anything else bad to happen [in the future to other girls],” said Wood.

The predators almost always try to get out of the situation by using excuses such as “I’m just here to be friends and talk,” “I would never do anything like that,” and “I am here to check on [he or she].”

“It’s really funny that the predators seriously think that they can get out of the situation by lying when the cops and Hansen have proof showing otherwise,” said Sinclair.

Once Hansen is done questioning the predator, he lets the predator go and “leave” through the garage. This is where the police are waiting to search and take the predator to the police station.

“I think it’s really funny that the predators are set up and most of the time they don’t know that a bunch of police are about to catch them,” said Gilbert.

The sentence for the predators caught in the sting operation is usually never the same depending on what items they have on them and the conversations that the predator had with the underage child.

“Personally, I don’t think what they have on them should affect anything, I believe that a person who violates this law should get a life sentence to where they cannot be around children and try to take advantage of them [ever again],” said Orozco.

Although the predators in this show are caught and stopped, many similar predators continue to get away with what they are doing.

“I’m so glad a show like this is around to raise awareness of these child predators that could potentially harm children physically and mentally, I wouldn’t want anyone I care about to get taken advantage of like that,” said Wood.