Woman sexually assaulted after setting up Tinder meeting in Pennsylvania, police say

Maggie Kent Image
Thursday, October 4, 2018
Police: Woman sexually assaulted after setting up Tinder meeting
Police: Woman sexually assaulted after setting up Tinder meeting. Maggie Kent reports during Action News at 4pm on October 3, 2018.

CHELTENHAM TWP., Pa. -- A woman who set up a meeting on the dating app Tinder was sexually assaulted outside a Cheltenham Township apartment complex, police say.

The incident occurred around 7:30 p.m. Monday on the 1900 block of Ashbourne Road at the Lynnewood Garden Apartments in Elkins Park.

According to authorities, the 19-year-old victim made arrangements to meet someone using Tinder and was lured to the garage area in parking lot #6.

Once there, police say she was approached from behind by a man. They say he grabbed her and forced into a secluded area where he sexually assaulted her.

The suspect fled on foot.

Police say once the victim was certain the suspect left the area, she fled the scene and called the authorities.

"The message we want to get out to people is to be cautious with social media and meeting people you don't know," said Lt. John Slavin of Cheltenham Township Police.

While there are security guards that patrol the area, residents say a lack of cameras and floodlights make the perimeter of the complex a potentially dangerous area, especially for a first meeting.

"You need to be very careful when you're meeting people on media and stuff like that, meeting strange people in strange places. Like I said, it's very wooded at nighttime, it's a lot of trees, very dark," said resident Earline Chambers.

Anyone with information about this incident is asked to contact Cheltenham Township Police Detectives at 215-885-1600 ext. 499.

Cheltenham Township police have issued a warning for anyone using platforms like Tinder to be cautious with meeting strangers and conducting online exchanges, and to be aware of their surroundings. They encourage residents to meet in established Safe Zone Internet Exchange Areas or their local police station when conducting internet business.