Dallas, a city perceived as moving Texas from the political right toward the center has a new problem: Hate crimes traced to gay dating apps.
According to local police, a series of crimes ranging from robbery to sexual assault have been tracked back to the gay dating app Grindr. The news was made public over the weekend in a report filed by NBC’s Dallas/Ft. Worth affiliate.
Dallas TV reporter Allie Spillyards told viewers that police in the area have reached a determination that the crimes were “motivated by the victims’ perceived sexual orientation, turning these into hate crime investigations.”
What the indigents have in common: Each of victims was lured with the prospect of sex to the same location, then robbed and beaten.
In addition, all of the incidents have been linked to Grindr in particular, and all but one of the crimes took place an the same apartment complex — one that has been abandoned for some time. The robberies and assault have raised awareness about the risks of “hooking up,” and have garnered the attention of a local LGBT watchdog group called Take Back Oak Lawn, which is actively spreading the word to app users to be both wary and vigilant. The group sprang up three years ago in response to an earlier outbreak of hate crimes.
Spillyards quotes Take Back spokesperson and founder Lee Dougherty as saying that the organization truly believes “this is not a direct result of just an app or just a website, you know, or just a bar or just a place you went. This affects, unfortunately, people from all walks of life. It’s very sad to see in this scenario that people are being targeted for their sexual orientation, and that’s what makes this very heinous to us.”
To date there is one suspect, a 17-year-old, in custody. More arrests are expected to follow, and a local newspaper reports that in December alone, a half dozen were lured to the crime scene.
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Last modified: February 14, 2019