SAN FRANCISCO. - The wife of a Northern California man whose mug shot for an arrest on felony weapons charges went viral on social media due to his widely admired looks is upset that people are taking her husband's arrest as a joke, a woman who says she is a friend of the couple told CBS Sacramento.
"She's furious. Her man is in there and people are taking it as a joke, thinking it's funny talking about his looks, saying all kinds of crazy things," friend Simone Johnson told the station.
Jeremy Meeks, 30, an ex-con, was arrested last Wednesday, June 18 on five weapons charges and one gang charge, authorities said. His mug shot, posted online by the Stockton Police Department, went viral, attracting more than 95,000 "likes" by Monday and drawing comments praising his high cheek bones, chiseled face and striking blue eyes.
No previous arrest photo has garnered so much positive attention since the department set up its Facebook page in March 2012, Officer Joseph Silva, a spokesperson for the Stockton Police, told The Associated Press last week.
Meeks was one of four men taken into custody during Operation Ceasefire, a multi-agency mission to curb a recent increase in shootings and robberies in the Weston Ranch area of Stockton, a Northern California city of about 300,000.
Silva called Meeks "one of the most violent criminals in the Stockton area."
He was arraigned Friday on eleven felony counts related to firearm possession, street gang membership and violation his probation, reports CBS Sacramento. His bail was set at $1,000,000 and he was assigned a public defender. His next court date is scheduled for June 27.
Police say Meeks served two years in prison for a 2002 conviction for grand theft and is a documented member of the gang Northside Gangster Crips.
Meeks is married with two young sons. His wife was not present for his arraignment Friday, reports CBS Sacramento.
"I wouldn't be surprised if you don't see her at all in the cameras, because she's upset," said friend Simone Johnson.
Meeks' younger brother, who was present for the arraignment, says he doesn't believe his brother is guilty and that his brother is a changed man after serving time in prison.
"He's a man who learns from his mistakes," Bryan Varela told the station. "With his past history, he got out of being incarcerated and put his mind on focus to his family and started doing what he had to do. Living the dream he always wanted."
Meeks' mother created a fundraising page called "Free Jeremy Meeks" with the hope of garnering $25,000 in donations.
"He has old tattoos.. which causes him to be sterotyped [sic]. He's my son and I'm just trying to raise funds to help him in anyway. Please help him to get a fair trial or else he'll be railroaded," Meeks' mother, Katherine Angier, posted on the site GoFundMe.