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Four Texas teens charged over Grindr gunpoint robbery and assault

armed robbery mask gun gay hookup app grindr Dusty Andrew Baily Junior mugshot Bell County Texas KILLEEN POLICE DEPARTMENT
Shutterstock Creative; Koshiro K/Shutterstock; Bell County Texas KILLEEN POLICE DEPARTMENT

The alleged victim only escaped after frantically waving down a passing police officer.

Police in Texas arrested four teens they say assaulted and robbed a gay man they targeted using Grindr, the popular gay dating and hookup app.

Dusty Andrew Baily, Jr., 17, was arrested and charged with Aggravated Kidnapping and Aggravated Robbery, according to a press release from the Killeen Police Department. Three other teens, two aged 16 and one aged 15, were also charged with the same crimes, but their names were not released due to their age.

An officer was on patrol shortly after 2 a.m. on June 2 when he saw the victim waving at him while surrounded by three individuals. The three alleged teen attackers ran upon seeing the officer. The officer confronted Baily as he tried to enter a residence.

The victim told police he used Grindr to arrange an encounter at a nearby address, but was instead confronted by four individuals with what appeared to be shotguns and handguns. They demanded personal items and at least one of the suspects allegedly struck the victim with a gun.

As the victim was forcibly walked to his car to be transported to an undisclosed location, he saw the passing officer and frantically waved and attracted his attention.

An immediate manhunt was initiated, including utilizing a drone and K9 assets. The three other teens were found hiding in a nearby shed. Police reportedly found a handgun and a BB gun that closely resembled a shotgun. The three teens were taken into custody.

While popular with queer men looking to hook up for sex, Grindr can also be used by criminals, homophobes, and state actors with ill intent.

Earlier this month it was reported a court in Qatari sentenced Manuel Guerrerro Aviña, 44, to six months in jail (suspended), fined him 10,0000 Qatari Riyals (about $2,750), and deported him after he was entrapped by state authorities who were using a fake Grindr profile. Aviña was arrested on February 4 and later said he was tortured and placed in solitary confinement during his subsequent multi-month prison stay.

Last month a Chicago man pleaded guilty in an Ohio federal courtroom to extorting money and sex from men he met through social media and Grindr. Omoruyi Uwadiae, 28, lured several unsuspecting men across multiple states to send him nude or sexually explicit photographs and videos, which he used to extort cash payments or sex. If a victim refused to comply with his demands, he threatened to reveal the imagery to the man’s family, friends, and coworkers directly or via public exposure online. For victims unable or unwilling to pay, Uwadiae reportedly demanded they make false incriminating statements to ensure their silence.

Police in Killeen said the teens arrested on Saturday are currently held in the Bell County Juvenile Detention Center. Bail was set for Baily at $300,000 for each count for $600,000 total. No details were provided for the bail of the other teens charged in the incident.

Police said the investigation is ongoing and anyone with information on this or any similar crime is encouraged to contact them directly.

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