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Emoji-happy man takes DUI selfie with arresting officer

Technically Incorrect: An Iowa man who admits to being under the influence of pot asks his arresting officer to pose with him for a Snapchat selfie. The officer happily obliges.

Technically Incorrect offers a slightly twisted take on the tech that's taken over our lives.


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The police took their own picture of Phelps too. Iowa City Police.

I was aware that "Hey, look at me!" is the prevailing philosophy of our era.

I wasn't aware, however, that this included "Hey, look at me! I've just been arrested!"

I have been disabused, however, by the tale of 20-year-old Gilbert Horace Phelps. An Iowa City police report captured by the Smoking Gun says that Phelps was arrested at 2 a.m. last Thursday.

According to the report, a police officer pulled the car over for speeding and having an obstructed registration sticker. The officer said that he "noticed an odor of ingested alcohol coming from the cabin area of the vehicle." I didn't know that ingested alcohol has its own distinct bouquet. I'm learning a lot today.

Phelps failed field sobriety tests, according to the police report, however, his breath test showed him to be stone cold sober.

Oddly, he allegedly admitted to the officer that he'd smoked marijuana before getting into the car. The police then called in a so-called Certified Drug Recognition Expert who examined Phelps and decided he was stoned.

You might decide for yourself how stoned Phelps may or may not have been, as the police report then reads: "During the testing process, the defendant requested to take a Snapchat selfie with me to which I happily obliged."

Many will be moved (in several directions) at the notion of a police officer happily obliging while arresting someone. But the sheer niceness, tending toward glee, of Officer Ben Hektoen is quite something.

For his police report concludes that the defendant "said he captioned the photo using emoji icons showing a police car, next to a passenger car, next to tow truck."

This might just be an Iowa City thing. Officer Hektoen is even giving the thumbs-up in the selfie. So I contacted the police to ask for its view on its own obliging selfie-consciousness. I will update, should I hear.

Phelps has been charged with operating a vehicle while under the influence.

You might think that Phelps created something original here. However, regular readers will remember how young Sri Lankans were posing with police officers who gave them tickets two months ago.

And so Selfies With Arresting Officers appears to have reached the US. They will soon, surely, have their own Web site.