After two murders, Councilman urges gay people to be careful dating

Daniel Dromm
Councilman Daniel Dromm, right, speaks at the scene of one of the murders. (Courtesy of Daniel Dromm)

After three recent murders, some in the gay community are questioning online dating.

Politicians urged caution while meeting potential dates after two gay men were killed one week apart in Queens.

Councilman Daniel Dromm decried the murders, which were in his Queens district, Tuesday at one of the crime locations.

“The lesbian, gay, bisexual and transgender communities are deeply concerned about these two recent murders,” he said in Elmhurst. “It is an eerie coincidence that both of these murders took place within a week of each other and involved gay men.”

The first murder victim he referenced was David Rangel, a Queens teacher found choked to death in his apartment Feb. 3.

One week later, Sunday at the Crown Motor Inn, where Dromm spoke, another gay man was strangled. Joseph Benzinger was found dead by the motel staff, according to Dromm’s office.

Dromm pointed out that both cases involved middle-aged gay men.

He also said a similar attack occurred Jan. 28, when Hamilton Heights resident Charles Romo was found dead in his apartment.

An NYPD spokeswoman said the department’s Hate Crime Task Force is monitoring the cases, which she said do not appear to be related.

Dromm urged people in the LGBT community to be careful when they are dating someone for the first time. The Councilman expressed concerns after Ringel’s murder that he may have been meeting people online.

“Go to your favorite café and make sure the waiter sees who you are with,” he said. “If you meet someone in a bar, let the bartender know who the person is.”

Tonight, the New York City Anti-Violence Project is hosting an event in Jackson Heights to dole out dating tips, Staying Safe with Online Pick-Ups.

“People are definitely concerned,” Ejeris Dixon at the Project said.

Many have called with fears or to recount their own violent encounters while dating online, she said.

Stubborn stigmas around both being gay and dating online contribute to an underground quality of the meet ups, she said.

“We really feel that it’s a critical moment for us to get the information out there,” she said.

The group also noted a 13 percent increase in reports of hate violence against gay and HIV-affected New Yorkers between 2010 and 2011, their most recent data available.

Follow Alison Bowen on Twitter: @reporteralison

Follow Metro New York on Twitter: @MetroNewYork


News
Entertainment
Sports
Lifestyle
National

Train selfie star who got kicked in the…

  A 22-year-old Canadian man who posted a video of himself getting kicked in the head by a train conductor is set to cash in…

National

Call of Duty hoaxer blamed for $100K SWAT…

A heavilly-armed SWAT team and an army of police officers stormed a Long Island home fearing a grisly double homicide – only to find it…

National

Minnie Driver tweets naked celebrity snap to 'shut…

Actress Minnie Driver has responded to bitchy critics who sniped about her bikini body by Tweeting a naked picture of herself. The 44-year-old star of…

National

American middle classes no longer world's richest (guess…

America's middle classes are no longer the richest in the world – having been overtaken in the wealth stakes by their Canadian counterparts. For almost…

The Word

Lupita Nyong'o is People's Most Beautiful

Congratulations to Lupita Nyong'o, officially the most beautiful human on the face of planet Earth (2014 season).

Television

John Turturro tags in for Robert De Niro…

The cast of the courtroom drama miniseries has undergone yet another shift. Following Robert De Niro's exit, the cable network has brought in John Turturro…

Television

TV watch list, Tuesday, April 22: 'Glee,' 'Agents…

'Glee' Rachel makes her Broadway debut in "Funny Girl." Remember when she was just a high school drama nerd? FOX, 8PM 'Marvel's Agents of S.H.I.E.L.D.'…

The Word

Lindsay Lohan's big, drunk interview

Lindsay Lohan appears to be completely off the wagon now, if Kode magazine's chronicle of her trip to Coachella is any indication. According to the…

NBA

Nets settle for 1-1 series tie with Game…

DeMar DeRozan, who was an All-Star this season, hit two huge jumpers back-to-back to give the Raptors an 89-85 lead over the Nets with 2:10 to play.

NHL

Rangers reclaim home ice with Game 3 road…

The Rangers jumped out to a 2-0 lead early in the first period for the second straight game. This time, they held on.

MLB

MLB Power Rankings: Brewers best in baseball, Dodgers,…

MLB Power Rankings: Brewers best in baseball, Dodgers, Cardinals, Yankees surge. The A's, Braves, Rangers, Giants and Rockies are also in the top 10.

NBA

Jason Kidd reacts to Mike Woodson being fired…

Jason Kidd played for Mike Woodson last year and Joe Johnson spent four seasons being the main focus on offense for Woodson in Atlanta.

Wellbeing

How to burn off all that Easter candy

Sorry to be a buzzkill, but you can't eat chocolate eggs and Jelly Bellys forever.

Food

Powdered alcohol: 5 things to know about 'Palcohol'

What's the deal with powdered alcohol? Here's what you need to know about Palcohol.

Travel

Travel hacks: 6 tips on living out of…

Lynne Martin shares her travel hacks on living out of just two suitcases.

Wellbeing

Tough Mudder pro gives tips on conquering a…

Learn hacks from head designer Nolan Kombol.

Comments

1

  1. Pingback: Gay slay mystery: Fears grow as 4 gay men killed in NYC – New York's PIX11 / WPIX-TV — Match.com login – The leader in Online Dating and Matchmaking