MUNCIE, Ind. — After a recent viral confrontation between a Muncie teacher’s aide and a predator catchers group, Delaware County’s prosecutor is once again speaking out against what he calls “vigilante” investigations.

Over the weekend, a group known as the Muncie Predator Catchers livestreamed its latest confrontation with a 62-year-old man who was an aide at West View Elementary School.

One of the group’s leaders, Shanda Nolley, said the man thought he was meeting a 14-year-old boy who Nolley was pretending to be online.

“Once we started communicating I let him know that I was 14 years old and he continued that conversation where he eventually got sexual,” Nolley recounted. “He made a comment about being with another minor in the past so he was well aware of the age.”

The video, streamed on Facebook, shows the group confronting the teacher’s aide outside a Muncie restaurant.

FOX59 is not naming the man in question because he has not been charged with any crime.

“Ultimately the goal is prosecution and convictions,” said Brooklyn Beeman, who runs the group with Nolley. “We submit all of our cases to Delaware county regardless of the fact that they are unwilling to prosecute.

However, Delaware County Prosecutor Eric Hoffman is having none of it. He said one of his biggest concerns when he sees those online confrontations is safety.

“All of these encounters happen in public places,” Hoffman said. “If somebody pulls a gun and opens fire, an innocent person is going to get killed. It’s just a matter of time.“

Hoffman also pointed out multiple legal and ethical issues that exist with vigilante groups. He pointed out a specific rule that prohibits prosecutors from making extrajudicial comments on cases like the videos the group posts online.

“The very second they upload that video the case is done,” Hoffman explained.

Hoffman said if he were to take the cases his office is forwarded then the members of the group would become agents of the state. That means they would have to take into consideration a target’s constitutional rights.

Hoffman said investigations should be left up to the police.

“Let them conduct the proper investigation. Let them make the arrest. Let them make the confrontation,” Hoffman said. “Don’t put any of that on social media or online on YouTube and then we might have successful prosecutions. But the way it’s done now, it’s impossible.”

Hoffman has refused to prosecute the cases the group has forwarded his way. The predator catchers say that’s disappointing.

“It concerns me as a parent of this community. It concerns a lot of people in this community,” Nolley said. “Why are you not even looking into it?”

Hoffman said he has explained the issues to the group but they haven’t listened. He believes the group is only after internet fame.

“They can try to bully me and push me around all they want on the internet. I’m not going to do it,” Hoffman said.

The man at the center of the latest investigation resigned from his teaching aid position earlier this week, according to the school district.

He has not been charged with any crimes.