A Compton man is expected to appear in federal court Tuesday on criminal charges alleging he targeted and robbed more than 20 gay men he met on the Grindr dating application.
Derrick Patterson, 22, was arrested Monday by special agents with the FBI. Patterson, who is charged in a criminal complaint with one count of Hobbs Act robbery, is expected to make his initial appearance in Los Angeles federal court, according to the U.S. Attorney’s Office.
Patterson allegedly targeted his victims by using Grindr, a social networking program for gay, bisexual, transgender and queer people.
Prosecutors contend Patterson met his victims at their homes or in hotel rooms, purportedly for sexual encounters, then robbed them. During the robberies, Patterson allegedly pulled weapons — knives or a taser gun — on his victims, then demanded money and their cell phones, before fleeing the scene with the victims’ wallets.
On other occasions, Patterson physically assaulted his victims. He then allegedly later withdrew money from victims’ bank accounts or used their credit cards for his own personal expenses, according to an affidavit filed with the criminal complaint.
During a robbery in October 2020, Patterson allegedly stabbed a victim in the chest. The victim survived and later positively identified Patterson during a photographic lineup as his attacker, according to federal prosecutors.
A final robbery occurred on March 26 at a hotel in Beverly Hills, the affidavit alleges.
If convicted, Patterson would face up to 20 years in federal prison, according to the U.S. Attorney’s Office.