Oregon man charged with using Grindr to target gay man in alleged hate crime

hate crime grindr – Credit: Leon Neal / Getty Images

His research history – evidence of premeditation, according to an FBI affidavit – was a horror show:

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Thanks to the screams of his alleged victim, it seems that greater horror was probably narrowly avoided.

Daniel Andrew McGee, a 22-year-old from Oregon, was arrested Monday and charged with a federal hate crime for an alleged brutal assault on a gay man last July. Using the gay dating app Grindr and the alias “curious str8”, McGee reportedly arranged to meet a man in her apartment in Eugene. There, McGee is accused of pummeling the man with a wooden club known as the tire slugger, resembling a small baseball bat.

The alleged attack was halted by local police who were summoned by neighbors who heard the man’s cries of pain. The man survived – but suffered “life-threatening” injuries, according to court documents, including head trauma that included the removal of part of the scalp “covering an area of ​​about four inches across. five inches at the back of the head “.

According to an affidavit submitted to US District Court by an FBI special agent, McGee told police he had “nightmares telling him there were demons” and that he intended to “kill” his victim and to “get rid of him”. The affidavit states that McGee told police he hit the victim with the power hammer and his fists. He adds, “When asked if McGee had targeted Victim 1 because Victim 1 was gay, McGee replied, ‘No, he’s a demon! “

McGee lived at home with her parents in nearby Springfield, Oregon. His mother described to detectives her son’s aversion to homosexuality, which he had long considered “rude”, according to the affidavit. She also recalled that Daniel had told her “he wanted to move to Russia because they don’t allow gays there.”

The FBI searched McGee’s digital devices. The affidavit describes how McGee “frequented a website … known for its” graphic videos “and” extreme content, “where he watched and downloaded videos of people, including gay men, being injured, beaten or otherwise assaulted. Headlines he watched, according to the affidavit, included: “Rednecks Assault Gay Couple”; “Gay Dies After Brutal Punch”; and “Hanging Homosexuals in Iran”.

Yet the FBI Special Agent’s account also details search terms allegedly found in McGee’s browser story, including “internalized homophobia”; “Grandpa in denial”; “Homosexuality shock therapy”; “The causes of homosexuality”; “How I became gay”; “Are homophobes homosexual”; and “how to overcome homosexuality”.

In the month before his alleged attack, McGee reportedly began researching news articles using the term ‘grindr murders’. FBI agent writes that McGee accessed media reports including Outside (“Police say gay men targeted for robbery using Grindr”) New York Daily News (“Bronx man hacks Grindr date of death with machete: cops”) and Rolling stone (“Murder of Grindr: Could the death of Kevin Bacon have been avoided?”)

About three weeks before the alleged attack, the affidavit reveals, McGee ordered a wig from Amazon that he allegedly wore as a disguise and the tire he allegedly used in his attack. (Tire hitters are wooden sticks used by truckers to hit their tires as a rough way to measure air pressure.)

McGee first connected with his alleged victim on Grindr, but quickly moved their conversation to Snapchat: FBI affidavit says investigators looked at messages that “included statements from McGee that he” came from ‘to be 18 a few months ago “,” no kiss [sic] just ok again ”, and confirmation that they would be alone (“ We’re going to be on our own, aren’t we? No roommates? ”).

The FBI affidavit suggests that McGee had dark designs for his alleged victim, citing a review of his digital devices that “revealed extensive research and web activity related to the execution of murders, how to get away with murders, investigative techniques that lead to the resolution of murders, and how to get rid of corpses.

In a section of the affidavit stating that “the attack was premeditated”, the FBI agent describes how McGee’s alleged victim, returning to his apartment a few days after the attack, found an unknown bag in his room bath. It contained “an 8-inch Bombay kitchen knife, a folding knife, a large roll of trash bags, a bottle of Comet cleaner, [and] a brown extension cord ”, among others, according to the affidavit.

According to the Oregon Attorney’s Office, McGee appeared in court on the day of his arrest and was detained “pending further legal proceedings.” A plea was not entered. McGee’s attorney did not immediately return a request for comment.

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