California Man Accused of Robbing More Than 20 Gay Men He Met on Grindr Dating App

California Man Accused of Robbing More Than 20 Gay Men He Met on Grindr Dating App
California Man Accused of Robbing More Than 20 Gay Men He Met on Grindr Dating App (Image: Screenshot/YouTube/KTLA5)

Authorities announced Tuesday that a man from Compton, California had been arrested on suspicion of targeting and robbing more than 20 gay men he met on a dating app.

In a federal criminal complaint, Derrick Patterson, 22, is charged with one count of robbery. On Monday, FBI agents apprehended him.

The suspect has been linked to a number of robberies that took place between November 2019 and March 2022.

According to the U.S. Attorney’s Office, the robberies usually started the same way: Patterson used the Grindr app to reach out to people, who he would then meet at their dwellings or hotels, ostensibly for sex.

He then would pull out different weapons, such as blades or a taser, and demand they hand over their wallets and mobile phones, according to officials.

“On other occasions, Patterson physically assaulted his victims,” the U.S. Attorney’s Office said.

Patterson reportedly took the cash from victims’ bank accounts or used their debit cards after the robberies, according to authorities.

Mr. Patterson will attack them,” Assistant U.S. Attorney Jeremiah Levine told KTLA. “He even stabbed one victim in the chest. He often threatens them with a taser; he’ll use pepper spray on victims. Sometimes he just beats his victim with his fists then makes off with the phone and transfers as much money as he can to the bank before that person can shut their accounts down.”

Patterson met one of his victims at a hotel on Century Boulevard in Los Angeles in September 2020, and “while engaging in consensual sexual activity, took the victim’s phone,” according to officials.

He then started asking the victim for his Apple Pay password. Patterson pulled out a taser and threatened the victim when he asked for his phone back, according to the US Attorney’s Office.

Patterson allegedly used the taser when the victim fled.

When the victim returned to the room, Patterson had vanished, along with his wallet.

Police obtained a search warrant for Patterson’s phone number and were able to locate him near the hotel at the time of the theft, as well as at a different Century Boulevard hotel where a nearly identical robbery was reported just two hours earlier, according to authorities.

Patterson reportedly stabbed a victim in the chest in another robbery in October 2020, according to officials.

According to officials, the complainant survived and was able to pinpoint Patterson as his assailant.

According to authorities, the most recent known robbery occurred on March 26 at a Beverly Hills hotel.

If convicted, Patterson faces a statutory maximum sentence of 20 years in federal prison, according to authorities.

The FBI worked with the Los Angeles Police Department, the Los Angeles County Sheriff’s Department, and the Beverly Hills Police Department to investigate the case.



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