Wash. man reportedly kidnapped, extorted, forced to strip naked by person he met on dating app
08/25/2022 11:49 am PDT
PIERCE COUNTY, Wash. (TCD) -- A 30-year-old man who thought he was meeting up with someone from a dating app was instead allegedly kidnapped, extorted, and ordered to strip naked.
According to a statement, on Saturday, Aug. 20, a man called the Pierce County Sheriff’s Office to report he had been kidnapped and robbed. He reportedly said he went to an apartment in Parkland to meet up with a woman he met on the Plenty of Fish dating app, and the woman "presented herself as being similar in age to the victim."
About five minutes after arriving at the apartment, a man reportedly walked into the room, pointed a gun at the victim, and "ordered the victim to remove his clothes and give the suspect his money."
The female suspect allegedly started taking pictures of the naked victim. The two reportedly ordered the victim to transfer $6,000 using a cash app, but the transaction failed because it was picked up as a potential fraudulent charge. The suspects, however, kept trying.
According to the statement, "The suspects made the victim attempt numerous other transactions via various apps and even posed as the victim over the phone to try to get an account unlocked."
The male and female suspects reportedly freed the man after three hours, but allegedly "threatened to send the nude photos to everyone in the victim’s contact list if he told anyone what happened."
The victim went to authorities and worked with officials to identify the two suspects.
The next day, on Aug. 21, Pierce County Sheriff’s Office deputies received a domestic violence assault call at the same address the dating app victim provided from his incident. Deputies reportedly recognized the male suspect, and as they tried to handcuff him, he reportedly reached for a gun in his pocket. Officials arrested him before he could get the weapon out.
Inside the patrol car, the man allegedly broke the door panel while trying to escape after he moved the handcuffs to the front of his body. He also reportedly broke the seatbelt fastener.
The male suspect was booked into the Pierce County Jail for robbery, kidnapping, extortion, unlawful possession of a firearm, and malicious mischief, all in the first degree. His bail is set at $125,000.
The female suspect, who is reportedly 19 years old, was booked on robbery, kidnapping, and extortion charges with bail set at $50,000.
The Pierce County Sheriff’s Office urged citizens to "do your research and trust your instinct" when it comes to online dating.