Words: Steve Brown
Two men used Grindr to kidnap and rob nine men and smeared faeces over their faces.
Daniel Jenkins, 19, and Michael Atkinson, 24, are both facing a federal hate crime charge after being accused on 15 counts by a federal grand jury in Texas.
According to the indictment, the two men used the hook-up app to find victims, who they lured to an empty apartment in Dallas where they were assault, taunted and robbed while being held at gunpoint.
One of the victims also had faeces smeared over him while another was reportedly sexually assaulted with an object.
The victims had their mobile phones, cars, identification, keys and wallets all stolen and one was forced to withdraw more money from a cash machine.
The two men were charged with conspiracy to commit hate crimes, kidnapping and carjacking on January 8.
US Attorney Erin Nealy Cox, of the Northern District of Texas, told Dallas Morning News: “Criminals are using apps like Grindr to single out victims based on their sexual orientation.
“My office is committed to rooting out these despicable crimes motivated by hate.”
Eric K Jackson, special agent-in-charge of Dallas’ FBI office, added: “As the lead agency for the investigation of federal hate crime violations, the FBI is committed to aggressively identifying and pursuing those using online apps, such as Grindr, to commit acts of violence or intimidation against an individual or community based on their protected class status.”