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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Equality Michigan issues crime alert

By |2011-08-04T09:00:00-04:00August 4th, 2011|News|

On July 25 Equality Michigan’s Department of Victim Services received a report of a pick-up crime. According to the victim, he met the perpetrators through a dating chat-line. The victim alleges that he was beaten and robbed by four African-American men between the ages of 23 and 24 during his first meeting with his date. The perpetrators and victim met in a parking lot in Detroit. No suspects, to Equality Michigan’s knowledge, have yet been arrested. When using a dating chat-line or website to meet, take these precautions to protect yourself:

Assess your location
-Especially for the first date, meet in a public, well-lit and secure area such as a restaurant. If you’re traveling to visit the person in his or her town, pick a place you’re comfortable with when you arrive.
-Tell someone where you are going and how long you will be gone.
-Think about an escape route in advance, in case of danger.

Assess your date
-Make sure you can see your date clearly.
-Engage in small talk to assess any potential risk.
-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.
-Let your date know that you have a friend who knows where you are.
-Always go on your ‘gut instinct.’

What is gut instinct?
-If you get bad vibes, feel uneasy or get butterflies, your gut instinct is telling you something is wrong, don’t go with him or her!
-Trust your judgment at all times.
-Always carry a cell phone and make sure it is easily accessible so you can call 911 immediately if necessary. If finances are tight, purchase a pre-paid cell phone.

At the first sign of trouble…
-Make as much noise as possible. This frightens people away and attracts others’ attention. Yell, scream — GET OUT! GET AWAY! FIRE!
-Use a whistle or a personal alarm.

About the Author:

BTL Staff
Between The Lines has been publishing LGBTQ-related content in Southeast Michigan since the early '90s. This year marks the publication's 27th anniversary.