A Jack’d hookup turned violent for a gay Atlanta man as his trick set him up to be robbed at gunpoint, ordered to help deplete his own bank account and shot at as he escaped.
The late-night incident left Kevin Dean, 34, shaken and with a bullet lodged in the door of his car. But he’s speaking out now about the June incident in case there are other victims and to warn men to be safe when using cruising apps.
“Listen to your instincts. If a situation does not feel right, it probably is not,” Dean says.
Shortly after midnight on June 23, Dean drove from his home in East Point to southwest Atlanta to meet someone he chatted with on Jack’d. He got lost as he arrived, so he called the man for directions and met him near the intersection of University Avenue and McDaniel Street. That’s just three blocks from where a young gay man was brutally attacked outside a grocery store in 2012 in an incident that was recorded on video and garnered national headlines.
“I saw him walking on the street and I picked him up and thought we were going back to his house. He said that he wanted to buy some weed real quick. I was a little naïve about that,” Dean says.
He agreed to drive the man a few blocks to his weed connection, but that’s when the potential trick turned violent.
“When I hit the unlock button to open the door for him to get out, he was talking with someone on his phone. And then someone else knocked on my window and asked if I wanted to buy weed. The next thing I know, he just jerked my car door open and out of the darkness, a gun comes out. He grabs my head and puts my head against the gun,” Dean says.
The potential trick remained in the car and he, along with the man who brandished the gun, started grabbing at Dean’s pants and removed his iPhone and wallet, and snatched his car keys, according to an incident report from the Atlanta Police Department.
The man with the gun handed Dean’s debit card to a third man, who walked into a nearby business with an ATM. That man talked with the other two robbers with a cellphone and they demanded that Dean tell them the PIN for his debit card so they could steal his money.
“They start getting agitated and they said give us the PIN or we’ll start shooting. Finally, I guess they got it to work and got $400 out of my bank account. Then they said I was being really cooperative and maybe they won’t kill me,” Dean says.
When the robber returned from the store with the cash from Dean’s account, one of the assailants threw Dean’s car keys to him and ordered him to leave. That’s when the violence escalated.
“They said if we ever see you in this area, you are going to die. As I started to drive away, they started to shoot at me. At least three gun shots hit my car. I just floored it and got out of there,” Dean says.
Dean fled to a convenience store a few blocks away and asked someone inside to call police. When officers arrived, they found a bullet in one of the car doors, according to the incident report.
Dean says an Atlanta police investigator was sympathetic to what happened. A few weeks later, police asked Dean to view a lineup of potential suspects but Dean had trouble identifying any as the men who robbed him.
“I wasn’t 100 percent certain because I wasn’t staring at the guys during the robbery because I thought they were going to shoot me,” Dean says.
Since the lineup, Dean says he hasn’t heard from police investigators. We’ve reached out to Atlanta police for an update on the case and will update the post if the agency responds.
It’s not the first time a Jack’d trick in metro Atlanta was robbed at gunpoint. Cruising apps can get you laid, but the potential tricks can quickly turn into trouble. A Tinder hookup left this Atlanta man with a stab wound. This Grindr guy got his revenge after being robbed. And so did this Craigslist victim. But remember these do’s and don’t for your hookup safety.
Dean says he used Jack’d and other cruising apps in the past without any problems. But since the robbery, he’s deleted them from his phone.
“I kind of locked myself in my apartment after that. Nothing has ever traumatized me like this did,” Dean says.