Man kidnaps Bumble date, locks her up without food or water and assaults her for 5 days

Amrutha Pagad
Amrutha PagadJan 10, 2023 | 13:06

Man kidnaps Bumble date, locks her up without food or water and assaults her for 5 days

Victim was held hostage and starved of food and water. Photo: DailyO

Bumble dating has another horror story coming from the US. A man was arrested for kidnapping and assaulting (including sexual assault) a woman he met on Bumble. The woman was kept locked at his apartment for nearly five days, beaten up, sexually assaulted, and starved of food and water, before she managed to escape. 

What happened: A Texan man, identified as 21-year-old Zachary Mills, was arrested on December 29, 2022, for allegedly kidnapping and assaulting a woman he had met on Bumble. 

  • The accused and the victim met on Bumble. On Christmas Eve, Mills picked up the victim from her home and took her to his apartment. 
  • According to the victim, the accused immediately tried to force her into having sex with him when they reached his apartment. 
  • When she refused, the victim claimed he started punching her. He also reportedly bit her on the neck and face, and hit her with the handle of a screwdriver. 

  • The woman also said that she was sexually assaulted over a period of five days and kept locked without food or water. 
  • It was only when the accused left the apartment briefly that she managed to escape and sought help from the first person she saw on the road. 
  • Zachary Mills was arrested by the Texas police but was released later on a bond of $50,000 (Rs 41 lakh).
  • He has been placed on house arrest and is set to appear in court for trial on charges of aggravated kidnapping. The police said charges may be added later on after investigation. 
Zachary Mills was arrested and booked into the Harris County Jail, charged with First Degree Aggravated Kidnapping. His bond was set at $50,000.00 out of the 351st District Court. Additional charges may be filed at a later time following further investigation.
- Constable Mark Herman

Online dating: There have been many such cases of online dating gone wrong. In India, recently, the Shraddha Walkar murder case brought Bumble into the spotlight, as the victim and the accused, Aftab Amin Poonawalla, had met on the online dating app. And the accused continued to be on the platform, meeting other women, after the murder of Walkar.

  • Bumble prides itself on being women-first and is generally perceived to be safer compared to rivals such as Tinder and Hinge. But stories such as the Zachary Mills keep coming forward now and then. 
  • The Tinder Swindler is also an example of how people can create fake social media personalities to lure their victims through dating apps.  
  • Intimate partner violence, date rape, and violence against women aren't online dating-specific. We hear of violence against women by their husbands, in-laws, boyfriends of long and short time, honour killing, etc. The only difference is that online dating matches strangers with strangers, with no mutual connections. 

So, if you are out there on the online dating market (man or woman), here are some tips on staying safe while navigating the online-dating maze. Rule number one is to avoid going to anybody's apartment on the first date. 

Of course, it is difficult to judge a person in the beginning on whether they have good or bad intentions. And the ball shouldn't be in the victim's (often a woman's) court to ensure no harm is brought to them. 

The big picture: Nobody is going on a date with a book on reading human psychology and body language to determine whether the date is a potential criminal. Online dating apps, the authorities and society, in general, should up their ante on providing a safe environment for women and actually holding responsible and punishing the criminals.

Last updated: January 10, 2023 | 13:06
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