HAZEL PARK — A Troy man went on a date with a Hazel Park girl he met online, only to be led into a trap where he was attacked by the girl’s accomplice and robbed. Police have since arrested the people they believe were involved.
The girl, 16, was released to the custody of a relative, pending further investigation. Her information was then presented to a juvenile referee. An arrest warrant was authorized, and she was taken to Oakland County Children’s Village. She may be charged in juvenile court.
As for the accomplice, the suspect is J-Lynn Grady, a 17-year-old male from Hazel Park. At his pretrial hearing before Judge Charles Goedert in Hazel Park 43rd District Court Oct. 8, his trial was set for Oct. 15, after press time.
He was arraigned before Magistrate James Paterson in Hazel Park 43rd District Court on Oct. 2 and was being held on $500,000 cash bond or surety. He was charged with armed robbery, punishable by up to life in prison.
They were both arrested on Sept. 30, a few days following the Sept. 27 incident, since the victim didn’t report them until he had been treated for stitches.
The victim, a 22-year-old Troy man, had been communicating with the girl via a dating website. She asked him to meet her in the 1600 block of East Woodward Heights around 7:30 p.m., bringing video games and weed. The Troy man met up with her in the area and stepped out of the car to walk with her a bit. The ambush occurred around Woodward Heights and Couzens.
Grady allegedly leapt out from behind a Dumpster, wielding a 2-inch-wide, yard-long stick of wood. He took several swings at the victim and dealt cuts and bruises to the victim’s chest, left leg and right ear.
The victim turned to run, at which point the girl allegedly grabbed his bag with the games inside. The suspect is said to have thrown the stick at the fleeing victim, but then the victim snatched up the fallen stick and swung at the suspects, fending them off while trying to escape.
When the victim got around to contacting police, his description of the suspects was enough for the police to locate the people they believe are responsible.
“The female in this incident had some very distinguishing physical characteristics,” said Hazel Park Police Chief Martin Barner. “Once we had attained these characteristics, we begun to canvas the area, which led to the identity of the female suspect, which then led to the identity of the male suspect.”
Police say the girl has a history of similar schemes. Usually, she’d lure men into dates online and then borrow money from them, never to return. The element of violence was new this time around.
“Apparently, there are a lot of lonely individuals who are seeking companionship through the use of the Internet dating websites,” Barner said. “I would just caution people that what you read online about an individual is not always the truth, and anyone who uses these websites needs to be extremely careful because they don’t know the situation they’re getting into.
“I’d say that if you’re going to meet someone you met at one of these websites, ask them to meet you in a police parking lot,” Barner said. “If they’re not willing to meet you there, they’re probably up to no good.”