After Thwarted Kidnapping Plans, Whitmer Calls for Unity

Gov. Gretchen Whitmer addressed the State of Michigan after a plan to kidnap her and other Michigan government officials was thwarted by state and federal law enforcement agencies. She started by saying thank you to law enforcement and FBI agents who participated in stopping this [...]

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Warren murder causes concerns about dating site safety

By |2018-01-16T14:44:43-05:00December 16th, 2010|News|

A Thanksgiving Day murder has prompted Equality Michigan to issue safety guidelines for those who use the Internet to make friends or find dates.
Robert Miller, 57, of Warren was found dead in his home on Nov. 26 after he failed to show up for his job at Home Depot. He had been stabbed several times. His car, computer, cell phone, wallet and rings were stolen.
Police later discovered that Miller had been conversing with a 19-year-old man named Andrew Terrell Clark, whom he met on the dating site http://www.MegaMatesMen.com. Clark allegedly met Miller at his home late in the evening, where he killed him and stole his belongings, according to the police report.
This is the second attack reported this year in Michigan in which the victim was targeted on http://www.MegaMatesMen.com. On March 26 Ferndale Police were called to Beaumont Hospital in Royal Oak after a 48-year-old male reported being beaten, robbed and held against his will at his Ferndale home. The victim said he had met the main assailant through the online dating service, and the two of them had gone on a date two weeks prior.
Ferndale Police said the suspect came to the man’s home for a second date, said he had to go to his car to get something and then returned with another male suspect, a hammer and a handgun.
The victim said the men beat him with the hammer and took his ATM card. One suspect guarded the man, while the other – disguised in a long wig – went to a nearby gas station and withdrew money. He returned and the men continued to beat the victim and rob him. The victim escaped and made it to the hospital with serious injuries.
The two incidents are not believed to be related, other than the fact that the victims were first contacted through the online dating service.
In response to Miller’s attack, Equality Michigan issued safety guidelines for online dating:
– Think about an escape route in advance, in case of danger.
– Tell someone where you are going and how long you will be gone.
– Look for well-lit, public, open and secure areas in which to meet.
– Trust your gut instinct: If you get bad vibes from the person, leave.
– Never show that you feel intimidated, frightened or “out of control.”
– Never let the pick-up know you are alone. Let them think that you have a friend who knows where you are.
– At any sign of trouble make as much noise as possible. Carry a whistle or personal alarm.
– If forced to fight, use whatever you can as a weapon — your stilettos, bag, sharp ring, belt buckle or anything that will inflict pain.
– Strike vulnerable areas of the body (eyes, throat, nose, fingers, crotch, knee, feet); these hurt the most.
-Be cautious about revealing information that could identify you. For example, if you give someone your listed phone number, he or she can get your real name and street address.
-For your first meeting, pick a place that’s public and neutral. If you’re traveling to visit the person in his or her town, pick a place you’re comfortable with when you arrive.
-Always carry a cell phone. This will allow you to call 911 at any time. If finances are tight, purchase a pre-paid cell phone.
-Know that violence is never your fault, no matter what.

Equality Michigan provides victim services, crime tracking, and advocacy throughout the State. To learn more about how to protect yourself against violence, or to report a hate crime, visit their website at http://www.equalitymi.org

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