A man was viciously attacked by a gang of teenagers with weapons when he turned up for what he thought would be a Grindr date.
The incident took place Tuesday night in Dublin, Ireland.
Marc Power, of Coolock, north Dublin, had to go to a hospital for treatment for his injuries. From there, he posted an account of what happened, along with images. He required stitches for his wounds.
“I’ve just been the victim of a premeditated homophobic attack here in Dublin. Went to meet someone off grindr. Was meet [sic] a group of teenage boys with weapons. They tried to kill me with these weapons. They were trying to hit me on the head with hammers.
“They didn’t manage but I’m in the emergency room in hospital with facial injuries and my car was destroyed. I’m ok but fucking angry.”
Power, in his early 50s, said he wants to know why Grindr can’t do more to validate the identity of people opening accounts on the app.
He told the Irish Times more about what happened.
Power says he drove his car to the arranged meeting spot outside the Odeon Coolock. It was there, while sitting in his car waiting, that at least four youths attacked with weapons, including hammers. He says they shouted “faggot” and “pervert” at him.
Power says that on his way driving to the arranged meeting spot, he received another Grindr message suggesting a change of location to a more secluded, poorly-lit meeting spot. He declined the suggestion and insisted on the car park at the Odeon.
“I pulled into a spot, then a group of teenagers seemed to come out of a bush and rushed towards the car.”
He says they opened the car door and attempted to drag him out.
“They started punching me in the face, one must have been wearing a ring on his finger as I started bleeding everywhere.
“They started calling me a faggot, calling me a pedophile, a pervert. They were all laughing, that was one of the scariest things about it. Right away they were trying to get me in the head.”
Power says he held his hand down on his car horn and screamed for help. Soon enough, bystanders noticed what was happening and the youths fled. They had damaged his car and smashed his windshield with their weapons.
“I was in a bad state. People were very helpful.”
Gardaí (police) turned up around ten minutes later. They confirmed they are investigating the incident but have yet to make any arrests.
Power said he wanted to speak out to warn others to be careful. He said he’d be more wary in the future but wouldn’t allow it to change who he is.
“I’ve lived abroad most of my life and never had any problems. Back in Ireland, I’ve had about three incidents. It makes me think about my own home city, and has it changed much. I’ve no issues with my sexuality; other people do.”
Power told Queerty he had been touched by the support his Facebook posting had prompted.
“People have been amazing … beyond belief.”
Ireland has relatively progressive laws concerning gay rights. It introduced same-sex marriage in 2015 and has a gay Taoiseach (the equivalent of Prime Minister): Leo Varadkar. However, pockets of prejudice remains in some areas of this deeply religious country.
A spokesperson for Grindr told the Irish Times the company was “heartbroken” to hear of the incident.
“We take a number of measures to protect our community, including . . . providing a safety guide to assist users when interacting with others online.”
“We consistently look for ways to strengthen how we protect our users.”