Compton Man Charged with Robbing Men He Met on Dating App
LOS ANGELES – A Compton man is expected to appear in federal court today after being arrested Monday on federal criminal charges alleging he targeted and robbed more than 20 gay men he met on the Grindr dating application.
Derrick Patterson, 22, was arrested on 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 this afternoon in United States District Court.
According to an affidavit filed with the criminal complaint on March 30, from November 2019 to March 2022, Patterson targeted his victims by using Grindr, a social networking program for gay, bisexual, transgender and queer people. Patterson allegedly met his victims at their homes or in hotel rooms, purportedly for sexual encounters, then robbed them. During the robberies, Patterson allegedly pulled weapons – varyingly, 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.
For example, in September 2020, Patterson allegedly met one victim at a hotel on Century Boulevard in Los Angeles and, while engaging in consensual sexual activity, took the victim’s phone. He then attempted to access Apple Pay by asking the victim for the password. When the victim refused and demanded his phone back, Patterson pulled out a taser, threatened the victim, and continued to demand the victim’s Apple Pay password, according to the affidavit. When the victim fled, Patterson allegedly activated the taser. When the victim returned to the room, Patterson was gone, but the victim’s wallet was missing and his belongings had been rummaged through.
A search warrant for Patterson’s phone number placed him near this location at the time of the robbery – as well as at a different Century Boulevard hotel where a similar robbery was reported two hours earlier.
During another robbery in October 2020, Patterson allegedly stabbed a victim in the chest. The victim survived and later positively identified Patterson during a photographic line-up as his attacker. The final robbery occurred on March 26 at a hotel in Beverly Hills, the affidavit alleges.
A complaint contains allegations that a defendant has committed a crime. Every defendant is presumed innocent until and unless proved guilty beyond a reasonable doubt.
If convicted, Patterson would face a statutory maximum sentence of 20 years in federal prison.
The FBI investigated this matter. The Los Angeles Police Department, the Los Angeles County Sheriff’s Department and the Beverly Hills Police Department provided substantial assistance.
Assistant United States Attorney Jeremiah M. Levine of the Violent and Organized Crime Section is prosecuting this case.
Anyone who believes they may have been a victim or targeted by the defendant is urged to contact the FBI’s Los Angeles Field Office 24 hours a day at (310) 477-6565.