A 52-year-old Dyer man was beaten, robbed and held at gunpoint after meeting up with an 18-year-old man through Grindr, a LGBTQ dating app, police said.
The 18-year-old, Jacob Trosper, of Dyer, was charged with armed robbery, robbery resulting in bodily injury and kidnapping, all level 3 felonies.
The two met up late Sunday night in Schererville to engage in sexual activity, Schererville police said. The 52-year-old man picked up Trosper at a residence on the west side of Schererville. Then the 18-year-old directed him to pull into a nearby driveway.
“...At which point Trosper displayed a black handgun and pointed it at the victim’s head and demanded money,” a Schererville police report stated.
The man told Trosper he didn't have any money on him but offered to drive Trosper to an ATM out of fear.
Trosper allegedly kept the gun pointed at the man's head as they drove to a Dyer bank to withdraw money, police said. After withdrawing the cash, Trosper continued to hold the man at gunpoint and told him to drive to an apartment complex in Schererville near U.S. 41 and park behind the building in a dark area.
“The victim reported he did so and once parked, he felt in fear of his life that Trosper was going to kill him so he attempted to take the gun from Trosper and a struggle ensued,” The police report stated.
During the fight, Trosper allegedly struck the man in the head resulting in a minor injury. Then Trosper ran from the vehicle with the cash and the man's cellphone, police said.
Police located Trosper at a Schererville residence and took him into custody, recovering the man's stolen cash and phone.
Cmdr. Jeff Cook of the Schererville Police Department said it's important to be cautious when meeting up with strangers through dating apps.
"I'd say if you're meeting up with someone through a dating app or a dating website, arrange to meet in a public place," Cook said. "Also know your surroundings, don't go to a place you're unfamiliar with and tell someone where you're going in case something happens."