OUR VIEW: Lessons learned from a viral arrest

Published 8:00 pm Monday, July 27, 2020

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Last week, a story from LaGrange made the rounds in the national news, mostly for the absurdity involved.

By now, we’re guessing many of you saw the videos posted by William Reeves Durga on TikTok, the video sharing social media service. One video, which stories centered on, was viewed more than 4 million times.

If you didn’t see the video, Durga was wanted by the LaGrange Police Department on drug charges and posted a video where he made the background a screenshot of the LPD’s post saying they were looking for him.

Durga added music and danced over the screenshot. He also added “come and get me,” with an expletive tacked on at the end.

Well, the LPD and other agencies did find Durga, and they arrested him Friday. As of last check on Monday afternoon, he was still in jail on two charges, use of a communication device to facilitate a drug transaction and VGSCA — cocaine- sale possession with intent to distribute.

Durga was an additional arrest in a months-long investigation into drug transactions at Main Street Pub. Additional charges are possible too, according to Det. Adam Blane with the West Metro Regional Drug Enforcement Office.

There are probably a few lessons to be learned from Durga’s experience. Regardless of whether he’s guilty of the charges in front of him — the courts will ultimately decide that — he became a national story by posting one video on social media.

We’d guess that he never expected it to take off like it did, but that’s how things work in this social media world of ours.

On top of that, taunting law enforcement — especially when you are wanted on pending charges — is probably a bad idea.

And even after his one infamous video with millions of views, Durga’s account added a photo that showed him jumping a fence and running from a fake police officer.

The LPD said Durga’s TikTok videos are part of the reason he was so easy to find. Based on the number of people posting links to his videos on the LPD Facebook page, we weren’t surprised to hear that.

We applaud the LPD and West Metro Regional Drug Enforcement Office for their work as they continue this investigation into drug sales in downtown LaGrange.