'Video Vigilante' Boasts Tar and Feathering 2.0

Crusader catches men consorting with prostitutes, posts videos online
By Wesley Oliver,  Newser Staff
Posted Feb 23, 2008 11:29 AM CST

(Newser) – Brian Bates captures unsuspecting people on candid camera, but his subjects don’t have reason to smile: He’s the self-proclaimed Video Vigilante of Oklahoma City, capturing men consorting with prostitutes and then posting the videos online. “If you get caught by the cops, you pay a fine,” Bates said. “If you get caught by me, you get a life sentence.”

The camera crusader taps into the wave of video activism documenting lewd conduct, the Los Angeles Times says. Bates’s videos are wildly popular, but critics blast his bravado. “He’s a positive influence,” said one prosecutor. “But a lot of people think he’s a pervert or a nut.” Still, Bates revels in his fame: “I’m a 10 o’clock news station’s dream.”