Fla. Internet Mugshot Sensation Sets Record Straight

10:50 AM, Apr 23, 2013   |    comments
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Tampa, Florida (WTSP) -- An internet café seemed to be the perfect meeting spot for an interview with a local internet sensation.

In this day and age, a funny YouTube video, an appealing photo or a comical internet meme can reach millions in a matter of minutes, and in most cases, that's the motive.

But, in the case of Meagan from Zephyrhills, FL, it was the complete opposite when her booking photo was dubbed "most beautiful mug", and went viral as a meme for many to see.

On popular sites such as the Chive and Reddit, Meagan is pictured in an orange jumpsuit- eyes slightly glassy, cheeks and nose a tinge of pink from tears shed, but looking beautiful nonetheless. 

The photo is her nearly three-year-old mug shot, taken after a Driving Under the Influence arrest on July 25, 2010.

According to Meagan, she was ashamed of what happened, but figured since she spent only eight hours in jail, and had the charge dropped to reckless driving, it was not that big of a deal.

"The picture was out there, and of course people in my town knew what happened and looked at it, but that was that," Meagan explains during our chat at the cafe. "It was never really thought of again- you know, I didn't really think about it."

That's how she felt up until a couple of days ago, when she says friends broke the news that the photo resurfaced with some minor changes, and had become the talk of the town...and many, many other towns.

Creative sayings like "Can I have her cell number" and "Wanted...in 50 states" are just two of the alleged 280 phrases stamped across the photo in big, block letters.

The memes have gone global, causing people from places as far as Norway and Australia to reach out to Meagan. And while some have kept it kind and flattering, the inclusion of her address in the public record has caused some to cross over to creepy.

"People are really weird. They stalk you, they message you, they say crazy things," says Meagan. "They know where I live. People are talking about flying to Zephyrhills, visiting me, marrying me. People on Twitter have even offered to pay my bills."

Others keep it curious with questions about how prison was, or "is", depending on whether or not they're aware that she didn't even spend the night in jail, let alone serve time for the reckless driving charge.

Meagan's main concern, though, has to do with the fact that her life has changed drastically since the arrest. In addition to being a medical assistant, she says she is a mother of four, and that she worries for their safety.

"It was nice and funny at first, and then it started getting scary because my address is on there," explains Meagan. "It's scary when people message you talking about coming to your house and what your house looks like. It's getting to the point where it's not funny [because] I have four little people to worry about, not just myself."

Meagan hopes those who see the meme can now take it for what it is- a photo of a girl who made a mistake years ago, and has since made positive changes to live a better life.


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