The local news cycle offered a bit of sensationalist distraction on Dec. 27 as authorities arrested a Greensboro man, 55-year-old Timothy Fry, for the attempted abduction of an 8-year-old girl at the new Biscuitville on West Market Street.

The story had everything: an innocent child, a sex pervert and even a hero — Greensboro’s Cody Byrd, who intervened when he saw Fry follow the little girl to the restroom.

Naturally, as soon as I heard the guy’s name I had to check on Facebook to get a look at him, and also, this being Greensboro, to make sure I didn’t know him.

Turns out me and Mr. Fry are not Facebook friends, thankfully, but we have more than 30 friends in common, among them prominent local business owners, realtors, a lot of my friends who went to Grimsley, some city employees, a bellydancer I know and a more than a few elected officials including Greensboro Mayor Nancy Vaughan and former Mayor Robbie Perkins.

Now hold on: I know well that we are not our Facebook friends’ keepers, and it’s probably only a matter of chance that I had never clicked “accept” on one of Fry’s social media overtures. So I certainly don’t hold the mayor responsible for being Facebook friends with one of her constituents. You should see my own friends list, full of scoundrels, ne’er-do-wells and other shadowy characters as it is — though, to my knowledge, no pedos.

The lesson, I suppose, is that we all need to be more careful with whom we associate even online, because you never know who spends their off hours hanging around the Biscuitville bathrooms.

Join the First Amendment Society, a membership that goes directly to funding TCB‘s newsroom.

We believe that reporting can save the world.

The TCB First Amendment Society recognizes the vital role of a free, unfettered press with a bundling of local experiences designed to build community, and unique engagements with our newsroom that will help you understand, and shape, local journalism’s critical role in uplifting the people in our cities.

All revenue goes directly into the newsroom as reporters’ salaries and freelance commissions.

⚡ Join The Society ⚡