A&M Student Asked to Stop Live Tweeting CS Standoff for Safety Concerns

By: Alex Lotz Email
By: Alex Lotz Email

COLLEGE STATION- It was the tweet seen around BCS: "Attention College Station. My neighbor's house is surrounded by cops with AR-15s surrounding it."

That's what Texas A&M sophomore Hayden Greer tweeted after he and his friends saw College Station SWAT Team officers swarming across the street from his College Station house. It was just yards away that 20-year-old William Herring was in the middle of a standoff with police - and Greer live tweeted the whole dispute.

"I kind of felt like I guess I had a responsibility to tell people, you know, what was happening, where everything was going on at and just kept it rolling," Greer said.

Hashtag "live tweet the neighbor takedown" (#LiveTweetTheNeighborTakedown) quickly spread across town. Even the City of College Station started taking notice and tweeting his hashtag. But Greer wasn't worried his tweets would endanger him or anyone else.

"Anyone who is dumb enough to involve themselves in this magnitude probably didn't have the brain capacity to think to check Twitter to see where the cops were from the live feed," said the student.

He tweeted about the incident nearly 50 times before officials made him stop for safety reasons. Even though he had good intentions, College Station Police Public Information Officer Lieutenant Chuck Fleeger said Greer was putting officers in danger by tweeting their location.

"Anything that hinders our ability to safely go about doing our job we certainly are concerned about," Fleeger said.

To Greer, social media is now not only a form of entertainment, but it can also help protect lives.

"It's safe to say twitter is pretty effective and pretty fast," Greer said. "In last night's case, it seemed pretty beneficial to us."

From now on, he plans on using Twitter more safely.


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