A breakthrough in the unsolved robbery of a 28-year old Manassas, Va., man who met his attacker on a chat line led to an arrest.
Santonio Delonte Green, 21, was apprehended by U.S. marshals. He was found at a relative’s home in Alexandria.
Green, like others in the D.C. area arrested recently in chat line related violent crimes, is no stranger to the criminal justice system. He is a convicted felon.
On April 12, Green arranged to pick up the Manassas victim on a chat line, supposedly to go to a party, authorities said. Instead, Green and an unidentified man allegedly took the victim to a dead end on Colton Lane in Manassas. There they threatened him with a gun and took his money before ditching him, authorities said. Fortunately, the man was not injured.
Things turned more tragic for others who recently met their killers on the phone. The spotlight turned on chat lines as a way for robbers to entice victims when Brian Betts
, the popular D.C. middle school principal was found dead on April 15 in a second-floor bedroom of his home in Silver Spring
, Md. Robbery may have been the primary motive for the attack. Three suspects are in custody. All are 18 years old and have records.
Another man in southeast D.C. was robbed, shot and killed by a man police said he met on a chat line. Police said they believe they also have the perpetrator in this case behind bars.
Spring in the Metro area has highlighted this method criminals target victims. For years there have been stories of unfortunate outcomes of people meeting strangers through the Internet. And financial scams, especially targeting the elderly, over the telephone have been going on for years. Hopefully with more attention on the dangers of meeting people on chat lines, this conduit for crime will prove to be less useful for criminals.
Published at 11:22 PM EDT on May 26, 2010
Copyright Associated Press / NBC4 Washington