Calif. man accused of targeting and robbing more than 20 gay men he met on Grindr
04/06/2022 12:02 pm PDT
LOS ANGELES (TCD) -- A 22-year-old man was arrested this week after allegedly targeting and robbing more than 20 gay men he met on Grindr, a popular dating app for gay, bisexual, transgender, and queer people.
According to the U.S. Attorney’s Office for the Central District of California, from November 2019 to March 2022, Derrick Patterson used Grindr to find his victims. He reportedly met with the victims at their homes or in hotel rooms and allegedly robbed them.
The U.S. Attorney’s Office alleges that Patterson would pull out weapons such as knives or a Taser gun, demanding money, wallets, and belongings. He would later withdraw money from the victims’ bank accounts or use credit cards from their wallets, the U.S. Attorney’s Office says.
Patterson also reportedly physically assaulted some his victims. The U.S. Attorney’s Office says Patterson met one victim at a hotel on Century Boulevard in September 2020. At the hotel, Patterson reportedly stole the victim’s phone and tried to access Apple Pay. The victim asked for his phone back, and Patterson allegedly threatened the victim with a Taser. The victim fled, and Patterson used the Taser on him, the U.S. Attorney’s Office alleges.
The victim reportedly came back to the room, where his belongings had been rummaged through and his wallet was gone. Patterson was nowhere to be found, the U.S. Attorney’s Office says.
In another instance, in October 2020, the U.S. Attorney’s Office says Patterson stabbed a victim in the chest. The victim reportedly survived and confirmed Patterson’s identity in a photographic lineup. On March 26, the final robbery reportedly took place at a Beverly Hills hotel.
According to the U.S. Attorney’s Office, Patterson was arrested on Monday, April 4, by the FBI. Patterson was reportedly scheduled to appear in federal court Tuesday, April 5.
Patterson could face a statutory maximum sentence of 20 years in federal prison if convicted, the U.S. Attorney’s Office says.
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