GRINDR MUGGR: Thug Used Gay Dating App To Rob Victims

A thug accused of using the gay dating app Grindr to mug more than 20 men who thought they were meeting him for sex has been seized by police.

Accused Derek Patterson, 22, is said to have used knives and tasers to subdue his victims after meeting at hotels or their homes.

Police say one victim was allegedly stabbed during an encounter with Patterson.

Derrick Patterson, 22, arrested on 4th April for robbing more than 20 gay men he met on the app Grindr from November 2019 to March 2022, in California, USA. (US Justice Department/Newsflash)

In a statement obtained by Newsflash, the Central District of California of the US Attorney’s Office said on 5th April: “Derrick Patterson, 22, was arrested on Monday by special agents with the FBI. Patterson, who is charged in a criminal complaint with one count of Hobbs Act robbery, is expected to make his initial appearance this afternoon in United States District Court.”

The authority added that Patterson “targeted and robbed more than 20 gay men”.

The statement continued: “According to an affidavit filed with the criminal complaint on March 30, from November 2019 to March 2022, Patterson targeted his victims by using Grindr, a social networking program for gay, bisexual, transgender and queer people.

“Patterson allegedly met his victims at their homes or in hotel rooms, purportedly for sexual encounters, then robbed them.

“During the robberies, Patterson allegedly pulled weapons – varyingly, knives or a taser gun – on his victims, then demanded money and their cell phones, before fleeing the scene with the victims’ wallets.

“On other occasions, Patterson physically assaulted his victims. He then allegedly later withdrew money from victims’ bank accounts or used their credit cards for his own personal expenses.”

The Central District of California added: “For example, in September 2020, Patterson allegedly met one victim at a hotel on Century Boulevard in Los Angeles and, while engaging in consensual sexual activity, took the victim’s phone.

Derrick Patterson, 22, arrested on 4th April for robbing more than 20 gay men he met on the app Grindr from November 2019 to March 2022, in California, USA. (US Justice Department/Newsflash)

“He then attempted to access Apple Pay by asking the victim for the password.

“When the victim refused and demanded his phone back, Patterson pulled out a taser, threatened the victim, and continued to demand the victim’s Apple Pay password, according to the affidavit.

“When the victim fled, Patterson allegedly activated the taser. When the victim returned to the room, Patterson was gone, but the victim’s wallet was missing and his belongings had been rummaged through.

“A search warrant for Patterson’s phone number placed him near this location at the time of the robbery – as well as at a different Century Boulevard hotel where a similar robbery was reported two hours earlier.”

The US authority stated: “During another robbery in October 2020, Patterson allegedly stabbed a victim in the chest. The victim survived and later positively identified Patterson during a photographic line-up as his attacker. The final robbery occurred on March 26 at a hotel in Beverly Hills, the affidavit alleges.

“A complaint contains allegations that a defendant has committed a crime. Every defendant is presumed innocent until and unless proved guilty beyond a reasonable doubt.

Derrick Patterson, 22, arrested on 4th April for robbing more than 20 gay men he met on the app Grindr from November 2019 to March 2022, in California, USA. (US Justice Department/Newsflash)

“If convicted, Patterson would face a statutory maximum sentence of 20 years in federal prison.

“The FBI investigated this matter. The Los Angeles Police Department, the Los Angeles County Sheriff’s Department and the Beverly Hills Police Department provided substantial assistance.

“Assistant United States Attorney Jeremiah M. Levine of the Violent and Organized Crime Section is prosecuting this case.”

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