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
Local

Federal mediator joins Met Opera labor talks as…

Unions representing the orchestra and chorus of the Met Opera agreed to have a federal mediator join labor talks on Thursday as a threatened lockout loomed.

Local

Winning $7 million New York lottery ticket sold…

The only $7 million winning New York Lottery ticket for Monday's Cash4Life drawing was sold at a Queens 7-Eleven, officials said on Tuesday.

Local

Brooklyn man charged in roommate's stabbing death

A Brooklyn man accused of violently stabbing his roommate to death on Monday is in police custody and faces murder charges.

International

Dinosaurs could have survived asteroid strike

It turns out there is a good and a bad time for the planet to be hit by a meteor, and dinosaurs were just unlucky.…

Movies

Review: 'Guardians of the Galaxy' is a refreshingly…

Marvel is sitting so high on a cash mountain that it's now thrown $170 million at the relatively obscure and very silly title "Guardians of the Galaxy."

Movies

Review: 'Get on Up' is a war between…

James Brown finally gets his own boring biopic with "Get on Up," but the Godfather of Soul puts up a good fight against the usual cliches.

Movies

Review: 'Child of God' finds director James Franco…

James Franco's 11th directed feature is a noble but sloppy adaptation of Cormac McCarthy's "Child of God," about a feral mountain man (Scott Haze).

Movies

Review: Alex Gibney's Fela Kuti doc 'Finding Fela'…

Prolific documentarian Alex Gibney takes on Afrobeat god Fela Kuti in "Finding Fela," but fails to capture his unique essence.

MLB

Yankees land Stephen Drew, Martin Prado at trade…

Yankees land Stephen Drew, Martin Prado at trade deadline

College

Playing the Field: Valentine's Day coupling edition

  It’s Valentine’s Day, a day created by Hallmark to make couples spend loads and loads of money on candy, flowers and gourmet dinners. Or…

MLB

Angelo Cataldi: Ryan Howard deserves better from Phillies

Just last week, Ryan Howard endured the embarrassment of a benching that was inevitable, and yet still shocking.

NFL

Larry Donnell has inside track in Giants tight…

Little-known Larry Donnell of Grambling State currently has the inside track, as the second-year player has received the bulk of the first-team reps.

Career

What do you wear to a career fair?…

Getting that gig starts with presenting the most polished and memorable version of yourself, so refer to our expert fashion advice.

Style

Editors pick: Margiela's finger armor ring

These cool rings from Maison Martin Margiela are designed to overlap over the finger, covering each joint like armor.

Style

Givenchy champions diversity

Riccardo Tisci's uses a variety of ethnically diverse ladies for his spring campaign including Erykah Badu.

Wellbeing

Don't settle for the hotel fitness center with…

Travelers who want to skip the hotel fitness center in favor of local gyms that may offer better equipment, classes and amenities can turn to…

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