The married felon whose "handsome" mug shot has attracted thousands of "likes" on Facebook says he appreciates the attention but is far more interested in clearing his name.
“I just want them [admirers] to know that this is really not me, like I’m not some kingpin,” Jeremy Meeks told ABC affiliate KXTV in a jailhouse interview in San Joaquin County, California.
The mug shot posted on the Stockton Police Department Facebook page has drawn comments worshiping his high cheeks bones, chiseled face and bright blue eyes.
“Momma, I’m in love with a criminal,” one person wrote.
Meeks, 30, was arrested Wednesday as part of a crackdown on increasing violence in a Stockton neighborhood, and police posted his mug shot on their Facebook page. The arrest was on five felony weapon charges and one gang charge, and KXTV reported that he told the station the authorities found a pistol in his trunk.
The Stockton Police Department, which routinely posts mug shots, said none of them has ever prompted so many Facebook "likes."
“I just visited my wife and she said I like, blew up all over Facebook,” Meeks told KXTV’s Nick Monacelli Thursday.
Meeks, who police say served two years in prison for grand theft, said he wants to put his life on the right path, Monacelli said.
Meeks is being held in lieu of $1 million bail and was assigned a public defender during an arraignment Friday.
Since its posting Wednesday, the mug shot of Meeks had been “liked” by more than 72,619 people and shared more than 9,071 times on Facebook.
“Is it illegal to be handsome?” one person wrote.
Some Facebook commentators even said Meeks should quit whatever he does for a living and start modeling for Abercrombie & Fitch.
Other comments were harsher. “And then woman [sic] get offended when called brain dead or offended for being abused well you're attracted to losers," one person wrote.
Another one said, “Criminals aren’t sexy.”
Meeks' mug shot is hardly the first to receive this kind of extra attention online. Meagan Simmons was arrested in July 2010 for DUI and posed for a mug shot in what looks to be a jail-issued jumpsuit.
Pictures of her mug shot where digitally altered to say things such as “Looks do kill,” and “Can I have her cell number,” which soon generated lots of Internet interest.
Simmons' DUI charge was reportedly reduced to reckless driving, a misdemeanor that resulted in a fine.