Comings & Goings

By Peter Rosenstein - February 17, 2023 12:00 am

Prince George’s County, Md., police announced on Thursday they have charged a 26-year-old man with multiple criminal offenses, including raping one male victim, and carjacking another male victim after meeting the two men on a dating app and luring them to locations where he attacked and robbed them.

A statement released by police says the suspect, Rodney J. Richardson of Brandywine, Md., has been charged with rape, kidnapping, handgun offenses, armed robbery and multiple additional charges in connection with his encounter with two adult males he met on the dating app that NBC Washington identified as Tinder.

The TV station said it obtained charging documents filed in the Maryland District Court for Prince George’s County in Upper Marlboro.

“On February 12, 2023, detectives were notified of a sexual assault that occurred on February 10, 2023, in Brandywine,” the police statement says. “The preliminary investigation revealed Richardson met the victim, an adult male, on a popular dating app. The two agreed to meet in Brandywine,” the statement continues.

“During that encounter, Richardson raped the victim at gunpoint,” it says. “In addition, he drove the victim to the victim’s bank and forced him to take out money.” 

In the second case, the police statement says Richardson met the victim on the dating app and arranged for the two to meet in person, after which he carjacked the victim at gunpoint. The statement says the Prince George’s County Police Department’s Carjacking Interdiction Unit identified and charged Richardson with armed carjacking after conducting a “thorough investigation.” 

The statement doesn’t say how police ultimately identified and located Richardson, but it calls on anyone who has information about Richardson to call the department’s Sexual Assault Unit detectives at 301-772-4908. 

In obtaining court documents for the case, NBC Washington reporter Aimee Cho provided details in her broadcast report on Thursday that police did not include in their statement. She reported that police said Richardson invited one of the two victims to his own house on a date, where he raped him at gunpoint and demanded his phone, ID and Social Security number.

Cho’s news report says Richardson forced the victim to stay in a car trunk all night, threatened to kill him and his family, and drove him the next morning to the victim’s bank and made him withdraw $4,500 before eventually letting him go.

Concerning the carjacking incident with the second victim, which police say occurred on Feb. 2, NBC Washington reports that Richardson, after meeting the victim on the Tinder app, arranged for the two to drive to a dirt road, where he robbed him at gunpoint of his phone, wallet and car. Cho reported that Richardson also took the victim’s crutches, which he needed to walk, “leaving him stranded in the freezing cold.”

An off-duty police officer driving by saw the victim crawling on his hands and knees, NBC Washington reports, and immediately called for help.

Online court records show that police and prosecutors have charged Richardson with a total of 15 criminal offenses. He is being held without bond and is scheduled to appear in court for a preliminary hearing on March 15.

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