Most know how the Catch a Predator formula works: a potential predator is lured to a house through online messaging with the intention to have sex with a minor, only to be surprised by host Chris Hansen and the police. The "predators" in question are usually strangers to Hansen, but that wasn't the case in a recent episode of Crime Watch Daily, in which Hansen was face to face with a man he actually knew.
Chris Hansen explained his connection to the man in an interview with the Daily Mail. Hansen would commute with the man every morning on the train into New York City from the Connecticut. They were apparently on friendly terms with each other, but obviously, their friendship didn't extend much outside the train. Hansen had no idea that the "predator" was going to be that specific person, nor did he recognize him until he was standing just a few feet in front of him in the kitchen.
After the unnamed man arrived at the house, he was stunned to see Chris Hansen walk into the kitchen, who he recognized immediately and said, "Oh s*. No, Chris!" The man immediately turned around and tried to get out of the house but Hansen followed him, simply asking, "What are you doing here?"
The alleged predator, who had porn and condoms in his car, was then taken in by the police for questioning. The man told police that he thought he was meeting an 18-year old and not a 13-year old. The "predator" tried to tell the police that he ordinarily wears contacts, but recently scratched his eye and so had to wear glasses. Apparently, even with the glasses his sight wasn't very good and he thought that the age read 18.
"I would never, ever in my entire life meet a 13-year-old... it's disgusting," the man said, "Consenting adults is a different story."
The man claimed to have visited an optometrist about his eye just yesterday and that the police could check his story. The alleged predator claimed to be friends with Chris Hansen and that they rode on the train together for years. The fact that it was Hansen who caught him is "more of an embarrassment than anything." Getting caught on national television on a show about finding sexual predators might need to be his bigger concern.
Guilty or not, this isn't something someone easily comes back from, especially when caught by someone you know. This is also more than likely a first for Hansen who has done this exact same set up for years and never encountered anyone he knew. At least it sounds like it wasn't someone who was too close to him, but it's still shocking nonetheless
You can check out this episode of Crime Watch Daily and more when it airs on Friday. Check your local listings for specific times.