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Online sleuths point finger at wrong person in fatal Riverside attack, police say

By in Press Enterprise on August 29, 2017

By Brian Rokos

When Riverside police shared photographs of two possible attackers in a fatal fight Aug. 12 outside the Hideaway Cafe and asked the public to phone in tips, generally well-intentioned online sleuths set about publicly pointing fingers at suspects of their choosing instead of discreetly contacting detectives with their suspicions.

As a result, an innocent man received death threats, police had to spend time deleting posts from their Facebook page and, an attorney said, the amateur detectives may have set themselves up for expensive defamation lawsuits.

“We appreciate our community doing their own detective work, but we’d appreciate them, instead of telling everyone about the detective work they did … tell the detective working on the case,” Riverside police Officer Ryan Railsback said.

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Adam Valles, 29, of Bloomington, died Aug. 17, from the injuries he suffered shortly after 2 a.m. Aug. 12 outside the bar at the corner of Main Street and Mission Inn Avenue.

An altercation appears to have started inside the Hideaway Cafe and then spilled out onto the street. Railsback said Valles appeared to have been a peacemaker in one fight before two people jumped him, Railsback said.

The investigation is continuing and no one had been arrested as of Monday afternoon.

Police ask anyone with information to contact Detective Brett Stennett at 951-353-7213 or bstennett@riverside.ca.gov. Those who […]    

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