LOS ANGELES – A Compton man plead guilty Tuesday to federal charges for targeting and robbing more than 20 gay men he met on the Grindr dating application.
Derrick Patterson, 23, has agreed to enter his plea to robbery and aggravated identity theft charges, according to the U.S. Attorney’s Office.
After pleading guilty, Patterson faces up to 22 years behind bars, prosecutors said.
Patterson allegedly targeted his victims by using Grindr. Prosecutors say he 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 leaving the scene with the victims’ wallets.
On other occasions, Patterson is accused of physically assaulting his victims. He then allegedly later withdrew money from victims’ bank accounts or used their credit cards for his own personal expenses, according to the criminal complaint filed in Los Angeles federal court.
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, federal prosecutors said.
A final robbery occurred on March 26 of this year at a hotel in Beverly Hills, according to court papers.