NYC Leaders Concerned Over Murders of Gay Men
New York City authorities, politicians and members of the LGBT community are concerned over the recent strangulation deaths of three middle-aged gay men in Queens and Manhattan, the New York Daily News reports.
Leaders have warned the community this week to be careful when meeting someone for the first time as police claim that two of the men who were strangled to death may have met their attackers on the Internet. Out City Councilman Daniel Dromm (D-Jackson Heights) called the incidents "frightening" and said he’s concerned that "there could be somebody out there targeting gay men."
"People need to exercise extreme caution," he added.
Three men have been strangled to death over the course of a few weeks and the latest victim, Joseph Benzinger, 54, was found dead late Saturday night in a motel in Queens.
"He used to be here before and he was a very good man - always said ’Hi, bye,’ everything," Maria Ortiz, an employee at the motel, told New York’s CBS 2.
On Jan. 26 David Rangel, 53, a Queens middle school teacher, was found dead in his apartment and on Jan. 24 Charles Romo, 48, was found tied up with a bag over his head in his Manhattan apartment.
According to CBS 2, there were no signs of forced entry in all three cases. Additionally, the news station points out that Rangel was found stuffed under a sofa.