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

Borough prez Eric Adams defends Brooklyn's honor after…

"F--k Brooklyn," shouted Toronto Raptors' general manager Masai Ujiri shortly before facing the Brooklyn Nets at Saturday's playoff game.

Local

Annual Green Festival to take root in NYC

With the arrival of Earth Week, some 200 local participating companies, vendors and nonprofits are gearing up for New York City's annual Green Festival, set…

Local

10 green ideas for New York City this…

This Earth Day, pundits share their ideas to better green New York City.

Local

Carriage horse activists picket Liam Neeson's UWS home

Several dozen picketers lined the sidewalk outside of Liam Neeson's Upper West Side apartment building on Saturday to protest the actor's support of the New…

Music

Loop are, er, um, back in the loop

Experimental noise rock band Loop's three mid-1980s to early-1990s albums, “Heavens End,” “Fade Out” and “A Gilded Eternity,” were mercifully reissued.

Television

'Orphan Black' recap: Episode 1, ‘Nature Under Constraint…

Welcome to your first Season 2 “Orphan Black” recap! Hopefully Tatiana Maslany can help Tatiana Maslany get through this, with the help of Tatiana Maslany,…

Books

Poems from prison: 'How to Survive a Bullet…

Celebrate National Poetry Month with, "'How to Survive a Bullet to the Heart."

Entertainment

Whoopi Goldberg makes her debut as marijuana columnist

"It helps my head stop hurting, and with glaucoma your eyes ache, and she takes the ache out. It's wonderful," she said.

NHL

Rangers blow two-goal lead in Game 2 loss…

The Rangers got out to an early 2-0 lead in Game 2 and the Garden was rocking. But it went downhill quickly from there.

NBA

Deron Williams leads Nets over Raptors in Game…

The Nets traveled to a raucous Air Canada Centre but came out with an important Game 1 victory over the Raptors.

NBA

Carmelo Anthony agonizing over Knicks future as season…

There’s still the cloud hanging over the franchise’s head as to the pending free-agent status of All-Star forward Carmelo Anthony.

NFL

Jets host players with eye toward NFL Draft

The Jets hosted a number of NFL Draft hopefuls for workouts on Thursday, with an eye toward some under-the-radar players.

Travel

Packing: The one thing you need in your…

A new survey that looks at the travel habits of 50,000 people around the world has revealed that Western and Asian globetrotters have different priorities…

Home

Is your chair making it hard to talk?

Ever wished there was an office chair that could make impromptu meetings and discussions more private? The Cristiana Wing Chair is an asymmetrical armchair which…

Travel

Live large at these luxury hotels

From Thai boxing lessons and macabre Dracula tours to the Australian Outback, the Four Seasons hotel chain launched a series of new travel packages this…

Parenting

4 things that every summer camp should have

Alan Saltz, director of the 92nd street Y program lists things that every summer camp should have.

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