Dads Against Predators members ‘lured’ man to Target before attacking him, NC cops say

·2 min read
Charles Krupa/AP

Three members of the Dads Against Predators social media group “lured” a man to a North Carolina store before attacking him, officials said.

The man reportedly fired a gun inside a Target to try to stop the beating on June 28. The shooting left one of his accused attackers injured but didn’t ward off the assault at the Hanes Mall Boulevard store, the Winston-Salem Police Department said in an updated news release.

Officials said the group continued to beat the man, took his gun and left the Target in a car that might have had an Ohio license plate.

“Our team immediately evacuated the store and the Winston-Salem Police Department quickly responded,” Target spokesperson Brian Harper-Tibaldo wrote in an emailed statement to McClatchy News at the time of the incident. “The store has since reopened and we’re assisting law enforcement with their investigation.”

Now, days after the attack, officials said they have identified three men responsible for it. The men — North Carolina and Ohio residents — are tied to a group called Dads Against Predators, according to police.

Officers in their release didn’t share additional details about the group but said three people connected to it “‘lured’ the victim to the Target.” They’re accused of arranging the encounter on the Meetup app, which is designed to help people find new friends and activities.

“Once the victim arrived inside the Target the three males approached the victim and confronted him as to why he was at the Target,” police wrote. “At least one of the... males was recording this interaction with their cellular phone when the victim slapped the phone from one of the males which resulted in a physical altercation.”

During the subsequent fight, police said the man who had been lured to the store was hit in the head over and over again. At one point, he reportedly fired a single shot to try stopping the assault.

The gun owner, a 25-year-old man, later went to a hospital with minor injuries, McClatchy News reported.

The following day, one of the accused attackers was treated at an Ohio medical center after he said he was shot in the leg. Officials said they also found the gun that had been taken during the Target incident.

Officers urge anyone with information about the robbery case to call Winston-Salem police at 336-773-7700 and Crime Stoppers at 336-727-2800 or in Spanish at 336-728-3904. People can also share details online or through the Text-A-Tip Program.

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