ROCKFORD – A local woman was attacked by a man she met online, police reported Thursday.
Wednesday, March 25, Rockford police officers responded to the 1700 block of 12th Avenue and spoke to the 23-year-old victim, who said she communicated with a man via a well-known dating app commonly used for prostitution and agreed to to meet him.
The woman said while she as at the agree-upon location, a man approached her on foot and they began walk back to the 12th Avenue address. She said while they were walking, the man grabbed he and produced a handgun. The woman said she attempted to spray the suspect with pepper spray from her key ring but was unsuccessful.
The suspect grabbed the victim’s spray and keys and during the struggle and she was able to break free and run away.
The woman was not physically harmed, and did not require medical attention.
Police warn that anyone who uses online dating websites or apps should remember that the No. 1 rule is to meet in a public place during daylight hours or a place that is well-lit place if the date is at night.
“It’s also recommended to share your location with a trusted friend, give them your date’s full name, and share a photo as well,” Rockford Police Public Information Officer Michelle Marcomb said in a release.
Anyone who believes they are being exploited, pimped or trafficked is urged to contact the National Human Trafficking Hotline 24/7 at 888-373-7888 or text 233733.