If being booked on suspicion of felony weapons charges wasn’t enough to keep thousands of admirers from fawning over a convicted felon’s mug shot in Stockton, maybe this will – he’s married.
“I just visited my wife and she said I like, blew up all over Facebook,” Jeremy Meeks told KXTV’s Nick Monacelli from jail Thursday.
Indeed, an arrest photo of the 30-year-old with dreamy blue eyes, prominent cheekbones and a chiseled face was posted on the Stockton Police Department’s Facebook page and soon went viral, garnering nearly 50,000 “likes,” 14,700 comments and more than 5,400 shares by Friday morning.
Meeks was one of four men arrested Wednesday in a multi-agency raid that included help from the FBI, U.S. marshal’s office, the Bureau of Alcohol, Tobacco, Firearms and Explosives and a countywide gang task force. He told KXTV authorities found a gun in his trunk.
KXTV’s Monacelli told Meeks about his newfound popularity while he was still in jail. Video of the interview shows Meeks behind glass, talking to the reporter by phone.
Meeks said that while he appreciates the attention, he also wanted to get his side of the story out to the public.
“I just want them to know that this is really not like me, I’m not some kingpin,” he said.
He said he spent years in prison for grand theft and that the teardrop on his cheekbone was for “doing some things in his past he is not proud of,” according to Monacelli.
Women who were shown his mugshot on the street had a starkly different reaction from admirers online.
“He’s too thug for me,” one woman told KXTV.
But online, the outpouring of admiration had yet to wane Friday. Comments ranged from the ubiquitous "Omg he's hot!!" to the more pointed.
"He's too fine to be a criminal. I got $10 on his bail," one woman wrote.
“He’s too pretty go to go jail…yet again,” added another.
Others wrote that Meeks deserved his own reality TV show or a Calvin Klein photo shoot.
"Seriously," one man said, "he needs an agent like yesterday!"
"Nobody has standards anymore!" one woman wrote. "The guy is a convicted felon."
Stockton Police Department spokesman said no previous arrest photo has attracted so much attention since the agency launched its Facebook page in 2012.
"I have not seen that many likes for a photo before," Officer Joseph Silva told the Associated Press.Copyright © 2014, Los Angeles Times