A Canadian man, taking part in an education conference in Philadelphia, was sexually assaulted, beaten and robbed after meeting another man on the popular gay dating and hookup app Grindr.
The 34-year-old victim, whose identity we are withholding, tells NBC10.com exclusively that he invited the suspect to his hotel room inside the Hilton Home 2 Suites at 12th and Arch Streets around 1:30 p.m. on Wednesday after talking with him over Grindr.
When the suspect arrived, the man says he was held up at gunpoint and sexually assaulted.
“The whole thing was just a giant blur. I was scared and I kept thinking if i just do what he says, then he'll just go away," the man said.
Following the assault, the victim said he was forced to buy four $500 Visa gift cards. He was then walked to five nearby ATMs and told to withdraw $200 from each cash machine.
"I was afraid to say anything. I was afraid of what was going to happen," the victim said.
The suspect and victim walked about 15 blocks – from 12th and Arch Streets to 20th and Walnut Streets – during the ordeal, the man said. Then inside a bar along the 2000 block of Walnut Street, the man was able to break free, run away and call police.
Surveillance cameras inside the bar captured the struggle between the men.
Philadelphia Police are asking for the public's help in identifying the suspect. The man is described as 20-years-old, standing 5 foot 11-inches tall with wavy hair and star tattoos on the back of his right hand. He was wearing a dark colored jacket, dark blue jeans and tan boots.
Police are asking anyone with information to call the tipline at 215.686.TIPS.
As for the victim, he says steering clear of dating and hookup apps, like Grindr, in the future.
“I will no longer be doing any type of app like that again. I'm just not,” he said.