Man arrested after string of attacks on men in Detroit

George Hunter
The Detroit News

A 28-year-old man was charged this week with sexual assault and kidnapping after allegedly using a gay dating app to lure victims, police said Wednesday.

Elazar Withers was charged Tuesday, after he allegedly met his victims through jack’d, a gay dating app. He was arrested Monday during a traffic stop.

Three men were robbed and two sexually assaulted in less than six hours Friday, Assistant Detroit Police Chief Steve Dolunt said.

“During the investigation, it was determined that all the victims had been in contact with this guy on a social dating website called ‘jack’d,’ ” Dolunt said.

In the first alleged incident, police say a 37-year-old man near Schoenherr and Eight Mile was sitting in his car at about 1:40 a.m. when a man armed with a handgun approached the car and demanded he get out.

“He told the man not to run, but the guy ran,” Dolunt said. “He was smart.”

The victim ran to a nearby gas station for help. The gunman took the victim’s 2002 Pontiac Grand Prix which was discovered less than two miles south near Pelkey and McNichols.

The second incident allegedly began at 3:45 a.m. in a Dunkin’ Donuts parking lot in the 14900 block of East Eight Mile.

The victim was forced into a car and driven to a secluded area near Wish Egan Field, where the alleged sexual assault and robbery took place.

Less than four hours later, at 7:20 a.m., a 24 year-old man voluntarily got into the suspect’s vehicle, Dolunt said.

“He was driven to the 15000 block of Glenwood, where he was sexually assaulted then robbed at gunpoint. The suspect then ordered the victim out of the vehicle,” Dolunt said.

Withers was arrested Monday during a traffic stop near Lappin and Gratiot on Detroit’s east side by members of the 11th Precinct Special Operations Unit. A passenger in the vehicle, a 28-year-old man, was arrested for outstanding traffic warrants.

Dolunt and Jones stressed the danger in meeting strangers in secluded places.

Jones added there may be more victims police don’t know about.

“A lot of times when things of this nature happen, people don’t want to come forward,” he said. “But if there are more victims out there, we’re hoping they’ll come forward.”

Anyone with information is asked to call the Detroit Police Sex Crimes Unit at (313) 596-1950.

(313) 222-2123

Twitter: @GeorgeHunter_DN