Wednesday’s episode of ‘The Dr. Phil Show’ featured a unique phenomenon. Vigilante “pedophile-hunters” are a thing. Dr. Phil described it as a “controversial form of vigilantism that law enforcement is just not in favor of.”
What these hunters, who are regular citizens, do is they bait potential child molesters to arrive at a certain location. They then catch them on camera and post their details online. One of these so-called pedophile-hunters is a man called Tony.
A survivor of childhood sexual abuse, Tony founded the “Team Loyalty Makes You Family” group on Facebook. A plumber by day, Tony live-streams his encounters with people who he believes are child molesters.
Speaking on the show, he said, “Law enforcement is a joke when it comes to this.” He added, “There’s a problem with the system.” Tony further said that he loves his nightly escapades. “I love doing what I do. It’s almost like being a superhero,” he said.
Authorities are not happy with this vigilantism. In a letter issued to the show, Captain Greg McLean from the Internet Crimes Against Children Unit of the Post Falls, Idaho, police said of another such “pedophile hunter” Jesse, the founder of the online group “Hunted & Confronted” that, “Jesse does not have the skills or ability to successfully build a case against alleged predators.”