On Wednesday, Long Island resident Marquise J. Utsey was arrested for robbing and assaulting online hookups that he’d met via Adam4Adam. Unfortunately, this is only the most recent example of using online hookup culture to commit crimes against unsuspecting users.
Here are five other gay online hookups that ended in crime:
In Ann Arbor, Michigan, Mark Paling, Richard Thompson, and Ricky Ranger robbed 71-year-old David Maurer after Ranger met him on Grindr. After driving to Maurer’s senior citizen complex to drink, smoke, and have sex, Thompson placed him in a chokehold for 10 minutes while Ranger and Paling robbed him of cash, electronics, and credit cards.
Maurer went immediately limp in the chokehold, and was beaten, punched, and kicked by the three on their way out of the apartment. He died from his injuries, and his body wasn’t found until neighbors reported a smell coming from the apartment. The men were later charged with his murder and are in jail, though attorneys are requesting competency hearings and they won’t be back in court until March 13th.
Just outside of Seattle, Washington the spring of 2013, 32-year-old Leverne Lee Maxwell robbed and sexually assaulted a man at gunpoint, and later robbed two others. He met the men on popular “bears” app Growlr using a phone swiped from the mother of his toddler. The career criminal was later caught, charged with multiple counts of robbery, unlawful gun possession, and first-degree rape. This charmer is currently sitting in jail while he awaits his May 6 court date.
47-year-old New York radio personality George Weber was stabbed more than 50 times in his home in 2009 by 16-year-old John Katehis, who answered Weber’s Craigslist ad looking for “rough sex.” The unbalanced teen, who had multiple photos of himself posted with knives on MySpace, was arrested by police after trying to flee upstate after the crime. Katehis was later sentenced to 25 years to life in prison for the murder.
19-year-old Tommy Reed robbed and murdered 54-year-old Mark Woodland in Phoenix, AZ after the men met on an “unidentified” app that uses GPS to find other gay men in the area. Woodland’s roommate reported to police that after receiving two texts from Woodland confirming that he would be gone from the apartment, he returned hours later to find Woodland’s lifeless body in the apartment. Reed was later arrested by police, and eventually sentenced to life in prison for the crime.
Michael Sandy was killed at 29 in the fall of 2005 by a man he’d met in an online chat room and arranged to meet in a secluded area in Sheepshead Bay, Brooklyn. While he thought he was to meet 19-year-old John Fox, he was later ambushed and assaulted by three other men. Sandy was struck and killed by a car after being chased into traffic by 21-year-old Ilye Shurov. The men were later seen rifling through his pockets, and were arrested when police found Sandy’s chat logs and connected them to Fox. The men were all charged in Sandy’s death, with Shurov receiving the harshest sentence of 17 1/2 years in prison. A foundation still exists in Sandy’s honor.