Aaron Keahey, a 24-year-old gay man living in the small community of Springtown in northern Texas, was not doing anything unusual when he agreed to meet 18-year-old stranger Brice Johnson at his home over Labor Day weekend. Although the two had never met in person, they had become acquainted on the social netwokring app MeetMe, which facilitates dating among its members. Given the ubiquity of such interactions among the country's youth, it is not surpising that Keahey saw no danger in meeting Johson, possibly viewing it as a routine way of finding companionship.
Any notion of normalcy was quicky lost, however, after Keahey arrived at Johnson's. Although he does not remember much about the interaction, he does remember Johnson becoming aggitated. A little while later, Keahey was being taken to the hospital, with broken facial bones, nerve damage, and a few missing teeth. The police investiagating the assault suspect that it might have been a hate crime, a notion with which Keahey strongly agrees. As he asked reporters from a local television station in Texas, "Why would they have you under the belief that they're gay or bisexual or whatever they say you are, and have them show up and do what they did?" If Keahey suspicions are correct, than it would appear that the suspect specifically targeted him as an LGBT individual, manipulating his emotions to lure him into an ambush.
While such crimes are not unheard of, as anyone familiar with the Russian videos portraying a similar assault that went viral a short while ago is aware, the cruelty and perversity it still shocking. Keahey has said that he won't be meeting anyone online again: "Don't trust them."