A Craigslist hook-up turned violent for a gay Houston man early Sunday as his trick pulled a gun, stole his Impala and led police on a high-speed chase.
The sexytime deed was never consummated before 20-year-old Leroy Jeffery allegedly pulled a handgun and demanded that the 22-year-old victim give up his phone and car. The older man fled and flagged down a nearby Houston police officer, Houston police spokesperson Kese Smith said.
"The victim indicated that he and the suspect had met through Craigslist so they could get together and have sex," Smith said. "While they were in the victim's vehicle, the victim stated that the suspect produced a pistol and demanded his phone and the car. Fearing for his life, the victim got out of the vehicle."
The victim picked up Jeffery about 1:30 a.m. on Sunday outside apartments at 7500 Corporate Drive in southwest Houston near the Sam Houston Parkway. As they discussed meeting a third person to join them, Jeffery allegedly brandished the gun, police said.
"Nothing had transpired up to that point in terms of the sex act," Smith said.
When the victim jumped out of his car, he kept his phone. The officer that the victim flagged down chased Jeffery, a pursuit that lasted about 30 minutes and reached high speeds before ending in the 13100 block of the Northwest Freeway, Smith said.
Jeffery surrendered without incident when the chase ended and allegedly told officers that he used his phone to masquerade as a handgun to rob the man, Smith said.
"The victim likely thought it was a pistol," Smith said.
Jeffery was charged with aggravated robbery with a deadly weapon and evading arrest. He also faces an outstanding warrant for aggravated assault on a peace officer. A video of the incident captured by the Houston Chronicle shows a handcuffed Jeffery smiling inside a police vehicle and again when an officer escorts him out of the cruiser.
Police said the victim was unharmed and his Impala was returned to him after Jeffery was arrested. Smith said investigators will check to see if Jeffery targeted other gay men in similar Craigslist scams.
"That is something we would look at without a doubt," he said. "If there are other victims out there, we would very much like to hear from them."
And don't think cruise apps are any safer. Just ask this gay Houston man, who exacted revenge on his sticky-fingered Grindr trick. Or this Jack'd user who was robbed at gunpoint. Or this Tinder trick who was stabbed, locked in a bathroom and robbed.
So brush up on your do's and don'ts for hookup safety from the Montrose Center before clicking, swiping and messaging your way to booty.