A report by a woman who said she was forced into sex in a Passaic County apartment by a man she met online serves as yet another cautionary tale about stranger encounters.
The man, whom she knew only as Joe, had met with her twice before bringing her to the apartment and asking to videotape a tryst, records show the 29-year-old River Vale woman told Clifton police. When she refused, the woman said, “Joe” tried choking her and then forced her into sex.
Investigators have been having trouble finding a suspect. For one thing, a man who lives at the apartment says he lets lots of people use it. For another, the woman had nothing beyond a physical description. She also went to police nearly two weeks after she claimed the incident occurred.
Some first-time dates might laugh when they learn they’ve already been Googled or otherwise researched online. But police say online dating is no different than any other potentially romantic encounters.
A public meeting over coffee is one thing. However, BEFORE you agree to go anywhere privately with someone:
Remember: If that person is uncooperative or skeptical of your caution, there’s no point in meeting in the first place.
At the very least, this person likely has something to hide.
At worst, you could become a cautionary tale yourself.
Then again, if for some reason you don’t understand or agree with the need for these precautions, you can’t say you weren’t warned.