A Mexican transgender woman was allegedly brutally attacked by a Grindr date in her apartment in the Bronx on May 5.
Roxy Perez, 58, of the South Bronx, said a man she met on the app beat her after she repeatedly declined his requests for sex. Following the verbal dispute, the man became aggressive and punched Perez multiple times in the apartment, NYPD spokesperson Sergeant Edward Riley said in a statement.
“He kept pushing me,” Perez said in a phone call to Gay City News. “What part of ‘I don’t want to have sex with you’ do you not understand?”
In the moments leading up to the attack, the survivor said the man sent her more than two dozen messages.
“I want to see you,” the perpetrator allegedly wrote in a text message to the victim. “I have to see you.”
“No, I am tired,” Perez replied.
However, the harassing messages did not stop until she complied with his invitation.
When the man arrived at Perez’s apartment, he allegedly insisted on coming upstairs despite her request for him to wait 30 minutes so she could get ready. When the perpetrator entered Perez’s home, he groped her, and then when she asked him to leave, he accused her of stealing his cell phone.
“If I don’t find my cell phone, I’m not leaving,” the perpetrator threatened, according to Perez. As Perez denied the man’s accusations, he allegedly told her, “I want to kill you.”
When Perez attempted to call the police, Perez said the suspect snatched the phone from the victim’s hand and fled the scene. After the alleged attack Perez suffered a cut above her left eye, bruising, and swelling on both sides of her face. She was later transported to Lincoln Hospital.
The NYPD is still investigating the incident and has not made any arrests at this time. As a transgender woman, she said strangers often over-sexualize her body or assume she is “hungry for sex.” Perez, a former GED instructor, said this incident served as a reminder of the importance of consent and bodily autonomy.
“Nobody can touch me if I say no,” she said. “It’s not about the sex. It is about my dignity. Because I’m transgender, I’m supposed to want sex 24/7?”
This attack comes amid a spate of crimes on the dating app. On the same day Perez was allegedly attacked in New York, authorities in Atlanta issued a warning that said suspects are luring victims in through Grindr, taking them to a remote location, and then pulling out a gun to rob them after the date. In March, the Department of Justice said a Louisiana man was indicted for allegedly attempting to kidnap and murder queer individuals he met on the app.
Perez described Grindr as “Russian roulette” and warned other LGBTQ people about meeting strangers on the app. She worries that if the perpetrator is still on the streets, another person might be killed. Weeks after the attack, police are still searching for the suspect, and Perez said she wants to address her assailant head-on.
“I want to confront him and ask why he did that?” she asked. “There was no reason.”
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