News » Crime

Gay Man Lured with Fake Grindr Profile, Attacked by Hammer-Weilding Gang of Teens

by Kilian Melloy

EDGE Staff Reporter

Friday October 18, 2019

A gay man in Dublin, Ireland, is now speaking out publicly to tell the story of how a hammer-wielding gang of laughing teens attacked him after using a fake Grindr profile to lure him into an ambush - and to warn the public about thugs who see bashing LGBTQs as "entertainment."

The Irish Times reports that Marc Powers, a man in his 50s, had arranged to meet with what he thought would be another man using Grindr. The meeting was to take place in the parking lot of a movie theater. But when he arrived, Power said, a group of teens burs from the bushes with hammers and other implements in their hands and started attacking his car.

The gang pried the car door open and started trying to drag Power out, he said, adding that the alleged assailants were aiming blows at his head and trying to hit him with the hammers.

"They started punching me in the face," Power said, adding that "one must have been wearing a ring on his finger as I started bleeding everywhere."

Power went on to describe an assault of terrifying violence - a violence that the alleged perpetrators seemed inured to and delighted by.

"They started calling me a faggot, calling me a pedophile, a pervert," Power recalled. "They were all laughing, that was one of the scariest things about it."

Another disturbing thing, Power related, was how the young thugs had seemingly plotted out how they were going to lure gay men to the trap they had set. Not only did they use a fake Grindr profile in their scheme; but they also seem to have been behind a message Power got as he was on his way to the supposed rendezvous, a text that requested Power meet in a nearby park rather than at the theater's parking lot.

"This was premeditated, they set up a fake profile, and they set out to meet someone to cause as much damage to that person or even kill them," Dublin Live quoted Power as saying.

The victim related how as the attack was taking place he began honking his horn and screaming. The noise attracted attention, and bystanders came over to investigate. With people drawing near the scene of carnage, the attackers retreated, fleeing back into the buses, Power said. He added that they were still laughing as they ran.

In addition to speaking to the press, Power took to Facebook to share the story of the terrifying attack.

"I've just been the victim of a premeditated homophobic attack here in Dublin," his Oct. 16 post reads. "Went to meet someone off Grindr. Was met with a group of teenage boys with weapons.

"They tried to kill me with these weapons," the post continues. "They were trying to hit me on the head with hammers. They didn't manage but I'm in the emergency room in hospital with facial injuries and my car was destroyed.

"I'm ok but fucking angry," the post adds. "I need to find out why Grindr allows violent scum to open accounts. The police were helpful but hands tied as dumb teenage scum fear nothing. I'm going to media about this hopefully these scum will be rounded up."

Power said he was going public with the story so that others would be aware - and wary.

"I want people to be aware of these scumbags," he said. "They're out they're planning these things. There's lots of women and men out there who this has happened to and they may be scared."

The attack echoes similar traps used by gangs of youthful males in Russia just after that nation passed draconian anti-gay laws in 2013. Reports from that time detailed how victims would be lured to apartments where groups would be waiting to assault and humiliate them, taking cell phone video as they did so.

That pattern continues in Russia, with reports of gangs luring gay men using fake profiles on dating apps and then attacking or blackmailing them. In some instances, the gangs may use underage males posing as men of legal age to further entrap and legally implicate their victims.

Recent surveys in both Britain and the United States indicate that a disturbing number of young people, long viewed as the vanguard of progress in the civil rights movement, have begun to embrace anti-LGBTQ sentiments. That homophobia is thought possibly to be connected with hate speech spread by trolls online and mirrors rising rates of anti-LGBTQ bias crimes.

Kilian Melloy serves as EDGE Media Network's Assistant Arts Editor. He also reviews theater for WBUR. His professional memberships include the National Lesbian & Gay Journalists Association, the Boston Online Film Critics Association, The Gay and Lesbian Entertainment Critics Association, and the Boston Theater Critics Association's Elliot Norton Awards Committee.

Comments on Facebook