Dangers of online hook-ups

Posters show a man entering and leaving a building, apparently after a robbery. They are getting attention and prompting people like Larry Barnes to reconsider using the internet for hook-ups.

The suspect is believed to have robbed a number of men after they met online through a web site,, geared toward the gay community.

“Just because they steel a lot and stuff like that,” said Barnes, who added he wouldn’t use the site again.

Brian Betts, the Shaw Middle School principal shot and killed in his home last year after he apparently met a teenager through a web site. The teen, Deontra Gray, has pleaded guilty to robbery and a handgun charge. Gray and three other men were suspected of killing Betts.

As gay pride gets underway in D.C. Monday, MPD officials say it’s a good time to get the warning out about the dangers of internet hook-ups.

“With the internet and the manhunt and all the other different websites they have out there, every time you put yourself in that situation you are really opening yourself up for that kind of opportunity,” said District resident Mark Bertini.