A 20-year-old student in San Francisco has used Snapchat‘s gender-swap filter to pose as a 16-yr-old girl, catfishing a police officer who was allegedly looking to hook up.

NBC Bay Area reports that the San Mateo police officer was taken down after the student, Ethan (surname withheld), sent screenshots of his conversation with the cop to the police department.

Initially, the cop first made contact on Tinder before moving the conversation to other platforms.

Ethan’s female alter ego, “Esther”, was listed as 19-years-old on the dating app, but told the person on the other side of the messages that she was actually 16-years-old when the conversation moved to messaging app Kik – a change that apparently did not cause any issues.

“I believe he messaged me, ‘are you down to have some fun tonight?’” Ethan told NBC.

“I decided to take advantage of it.”

Reports say the officer in question was San Mateo PD’s Robert Davies. The 40-year-old had been under investigation by San Jose detectives since May following Ethan’s first call to Silicon Valley Crime Stoppers. They arrested him last Thursday and booked him into Santa Clara County jail.

“I was just looking to get someone,” Ethan told NBC, explaining that he had gone undercover originally in order to identify possible pedophiles after a friend told him she had been abused as a child.

“He just happened to be a cop.”

In a statement on the San Mateo Police Department‘s Facebook page, police chief Susan Manheimer said the conduct, if true, “is an affront to the tenets of our department and our profession as a whole.”

“As San Mateo police officers, we have sworn an oath to serve and protect our communities. I can assure you that we remain steadfast to this commitment to serving our community with ‘Professionalism, Integrity, and Excellence,'” she said.


Davies, who was off-duty when the messaging took place, faces charges of contacting a minor to commit a felony.