Man Uses Grindr to Lure and Assault Unsuspecting Victims Near San Diego

Man Uses Grindr to Lure and Assault Unsuspecting Victims Near San DiegoSource: Escondido Police Department
Ben J. Costas
Published on September 18, 2023

28-year-old Tobias Bartee was arrested after reportedly luring at least four men to his apartment, leading to their forced restraint and sexual assault, using the Grindr app to deceive his victims. Over the past four months, the Escondido Police Department received alerts about these incidents and arrested Bartee on September 15, with assistance from the SWAT team, according to their released report.

Bartee allegedly created a false persona, claiming to be a white male on the popular dating and social networking app Grindr, using photographs of other people to represent himself. Once the victims agreed to meet and arrived at his residence, they were greeted by Bartee, a black male. The unsuspecting victims were subsequently assaulted and restrained, with two of the victims observing the suspect with a handgun during these terrifying encounters.

Following his apprehension, Bartee was charged with kidnapping with the intent to commit rape, sodomy by force, oral copulation by force, assault with the intention to commit rape, and assault with a deadly weapon by means of strangulation. The Escondido Police Department is currently urging anyone else who may have been a victim of Bartee to reach out and, provide pertinent information on their website, or contact Detective Jesse Santaniello at (760) 839-4768 for assistance.