A Compton man was arrested and charged for allegedly robbing at least 20 men through the Grindr dating app from November 2019 to March 2022.

The Grindr app is geared toward gay, bi, trans and queer people, and Derrick Patterson, 22, allegedly targeted and robbed more than 20 gay he met through the application.

The affidavit alleges that Patterson planned sexual encounters with the men and met them at their homes or hotels. Upon meeting with them at a specified location, Patterson would then pull a knife or taser gun on the men, asking them for their phones, wallets and money before leaving the scene. Some of the men claimed Patterson physically assaulted them, as well.

“During the robberies, Patterson allegedly pulled weapons – varyingly, knives or a taser gun – on his victims, then demanded money and their cell phones, before fleeing the scene with the victims’ wallets,” the Department of Justice report said. “He then allegedly later withdrew money from victims’ bank accounts or used their credit cards for his own personal expenses.”

One of the men alleged that Patterson attempted to access the man’s Apple Pay app after engaging in consensual sex back in September 2020. When the man refused to give Patterson access, he pulled out a taser, continually asking for the Apple Pay password. The man said he fled the room of the Los Angeles hotel and upon returning, his phone and wallet were taken from the room.

Patterson was charged Wednesday, April 6 after being arrested on Monday, April 4 by the special agents from the Federal Bureau of Investigations.

If convicted, Patterson may face up to 20 years in federal prison.

LA Weekly