A man attempting to hook up with an online escort wound up being shot in the head in Newport, Virginia.
The man thought he would meet with an escort he contacted on Backpage.com, a classified ads website similar to Craigslist. On July 14, the man was arranged to meet the call girl at Warwick Townhouses.
When he drove to the address he was provided and left his vehicle, he didn't meet who he thought he would. Instead, two African-American men walked out from behind the complex, according to the police warrant. They ordered him to “stop” and “get on the ground.”
The man attempted to flee and jumped into his car, reported WTKR.
Neighbors reported hearing three gunshots moments later. One of the bullets hit the man on the right side of his head and a fragment got lodged in his brain. He still managed to drive away, crashing into several parked cars before making it onto Sharon Drive, neighbors say.
He finally came to a stop at the end of the street when he hit a road sign.
The suspects managed to escape but police continue to actively search for them.
The victim is now recovering and has been discharged from the hospital.
It’s not entirely uncommon for calls to online escorts to go awry. In February 2015, a New York man answered one such ad for an escort but wound being robbed by two men. One was dressed as a woman when they entered the man’s home and stole $250 before fleeing, reported Syracuse.
State police in that case urged the public to be cautious when using the Internet to find escorts. They said that such crimes are under-reported because the victims are often embarrassed.
Police arrested two in North Carolina in January 2015 after a man found the woman online and had her come to his home. Shortly after, another man entered the home and pulled a gun on the victim before tying him up and stealing his money and firearms.
A personal safety specialist involved in the case, Dan Starks, advised that when dealing with such transactions on Craigslist or similar sites to use common sense, maintain skepticism, and do things in public, reported WCNC.
“Meet them at a Wendy’s or meet them at a McDonald's," Starks said.