By Susan Payne
Authorities have announced the arrest of a Compton man who allegedly targeted and robbed more than 20 gay men he met on a dating app.
Derrick Patterson, 22, was taken into custody by the FBI and is charged in a federal criminal complaint with one count of robbery, according to KTLA.
The robberies occurred between November 2019 and March 2022 after Patterson allegedly contacted people using Grindr and arranged to meet at their homes or hotel rooms, purportedly for sex, according to the U.S. Attorney’s Office and KTLA.
Officials said he would then draw different weapons, such as knives or a taser gun, and demand their wallets and cell phones.
“On other occasions, Patterson physically assaulted his victims,” the U.S. Attorney’s Office said.
After the robberies, Patterson reportedly withdrew money from bank accounts or used their credit cards. Officials said.
“Mr. Patterson will attack them,” Assistant U.S. Attorney Jeremiah Levine told KTLA. “He even stabbed one victim in the chest. He often threatens them with a taser; he’ll use pepper spray on victims. Sometimes he just beats his victim with his fists then makes off with the phone and transfers as much money as he can to the bank before that person can shut their accounts down.”
In September 2020, Patterson allegedly met a victim at a hotel on Century Boulevard in Los Angeles and “while engaging in consensual sexual activity, took the victim’s phone,” officials said.
He then asked the victim for his phone password to access Apple Pay, but when the victim refused, Patterson pulled out a taser and threatened him, according to the U.S. Attorney’s Office and KTLA.
Patterson allegedly activated the taser when the victim ran away. The victim later returned to the room to find Patterson gone, officials said.
On March 26, an incident in Beverly Hills appeared to be in connection to Patterson’s previous incidents and the latest in his robbery spree, KTLA stated.
With help from the Los Angeles Police Department, the L.A> County Sheriff’s Department and the Beverly Hills Police Department, the FBI investigated the case.
If anyone believes they may have been a victim or targeted by the defendant, should immediately contact FBI’s Los Angeles Field Office at 310-477-6565.