A 34-year-old Canadian man in Philadelphia for an education conference this week says he was sexually assaulted at gunpoint, beaten, and then robbed by a man he met on Grindr.
The victim, who remains anonymous during his interview with NBC 10, said he invited the suspect to his hotel room around 1:30pm on Wednesday afternoon. After he was sexually assaulted at gunpoint, the victim claims to have been taken 15 blocks throughout the neighborhood, where he was forced to buy four $500 gift cards and withdraw $200 each from several ATMs.
“The whole thing was just a giant blur,” he said in a phone interview. “I was scared and I kept thinking if I just do what he says, then he’ll just go away. I was afraid to say anything. I was afraid of what was going to happen.”
Surveillance cameras inside a Walnut Street bar, where the victim was brought to withdraw cash from an ATM, caught a final struggle between the two men. Although it’s unclear what caused the outburst in the video below, the victim claims his phone was stolen during the struggle.
“I will no longer be using any type of app like that again,” he told NBC 10. “I’m just not.”
Grindr hookups-gone-wrong are no stranger to the news cycle. Late last year, an elderly Michigan man was murdered by three men who perused the app for potential victims.
Philadelphia Police are asking for the public’s help in identifying the suspect, who is described as 20 years old, 5′ 11″ with wavy hair and star tattoos on the back of his right hand. He was wearing a dark colored jacket, dark blue jeans and tan boots. Anyone with information is urged to call 215.686.TIPS.
Update. June 10, 2014: Philadelphia police have arrested 26-year-old Douglass Casey as the alleged assailant.
According to PhillyMag.com:
“The Philadelphia District Attorney’s Office has charged 26-year-old Douglass Casey with Indecent Deviant Sexual Intercourse (IDSI), Sexual Assault, Robbery, Kidnapping for Ransom, Theft, Unlawful Restraint, Terrorstic Threats, False Imprisonment, Simple Assault and [reckless endangerment.] Casey is charged with assaulting and robbing a man he met on ‘Grindr’ in a Philadelphia hotel on April 9, 2014. Casey was arraigned, bail was set at $1 million dollars and his next court date is scheduled for June 26, 2014.”