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An Oregon man was charged with a hate crime after brutally beating a gay man he targeted on Grindr, feds say

The Washington Post logo The Washington Post 11/17/2021 Andrea Salcedo

On July 5, Daniel Andrew McGee messaged a man on Grindr, the dating app primarily used by gay men, under the pseudonym “str8 curious,” prosecutors said.

That day, McGee allegedly told the man, whom authorities did not identify, that he had “just turned 18 a few months ago” and that if he agreed to meet, there would be no kissing.

The two arranged for McGee to go to the man’s apartment later that evening, court records state.

“[We will] be all alone right?” McGee allegedly asked. “No roommates?”

But the date swiftly turned into a crime scene.

When McGee entered the man’s apartment in Eugene, Ore., court records state, he swung a wooden club he’d purchased online weeks before the encounter and repeatedly hit the man on the head, attempting to kill him.

The man screamed and pleaded with McGee to stop, but the attack continued for several minutes, court records state. Neighbors alerted the police, but by the time authorities arrived at the scene, the man had suffered severe injuries to the back and sides of his head, according to court records. McGee allegedly struck the man with such force that a part of his scalp was missing. The victim was later transported to a hospital and survived the attack.

On Tuesday, federal prosecutors announced they have charged McGee with a hate crime for “using the internet to target and brutally assault a gay man because of his sexual orientation,” according to a criminal complaint filed in the U.S. District Court of Oregon.

McGee did not immediately respond to messages for comment from The Washington Post late Tuesday. His attorney declined to comment.

McGee is the latest person to be accused of using Grindr to commit a crime. Last month, a Texas man who used the dating app to lure gay men for the purpose of robbing and assaulting them was sentenced to 23 years in federal prison.

A man and three friends lured gay men on Grindr to rob and assault them, federal officials say: ‘Bigots often lurk online’

On June 16, less than three weeks before the attack, McGee purchased the wooden club and a black wig he wore the night of the encounter, the affidavit states.

Detectives found, according to court documents, that McGee had previously used the Internet to search for and view homophobic and violent anti-gay material. Some of the key words and phrases he allegedly searched for included “internalized homophobia,” “grindr stalker” and “trolling grindr gays.” He also allegedly searched terms including “serial killer,” “how long does it take for a human body to decompose in the summer” and “how easy is it to get away with a crime.”

By the time police got to the victim’s apartment the evening of July 5, court records state, they found him severely wounded and McGee covered in his blood. The wooden club and black wig were also found at the scene, court records state. Police later found a bag that did not belong to the victim that contained a portable vacuum, an eight-inch kitchen knife, a folding knife, a large roll of trash bags and a bottle of cleaner, among other items, suggesting the attack was premeditated, court records state.

McGee told detectives he went to the man’s apartment because he knew that demons would be there, the criminal complaint states.

McGee also told police that he had nightmares telling him there were demons and that he needed to kill the man, adding that he intended to “slay” him and “get rid of him,” court records state. He told police that he had hit the man with the wooden club and his fists without provocation, according to court records.

When asked whether he targeted the man because he was gay, McGee allegedly replied, “No, he’s a demon!”

A day after the attack, detectives interviewed McGee’s parents, who shared that their son is autistic and that they were unaware he had left their home the night before, court records state. When provided information about the assault, his mother stated that her son had voiced the opinion that being gay was “gross” for years, the affidavit adds.

When the detective told her that McGee’s explanation was that he had to kill a demon, she allegedly responded, “that would fall in line with his view on homosexuality, but not of people.”

McGee was arrested Monday by the FBI and made his initial appearance in federal court before a judge. He was ordered detained pending further court proceedings. He is due back in court on Nov. 22.

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