As today’s news makes all too clear, meeting strangers via the Internet can be risky business, even if you meet them in public and in broad daylight.
At the end of August in Kissimmee, Florida, a man met Alexander Diaz (above) in a Walgreens parking lot at 5:00 p.m. They had arranged the meeting on Craigslist, and the plan was for the man to buy some cell phones from Diaz.
The transaction didn’t go as planned. Instead, Diaz demanded more money, threatened the buyer, and even walked to his car and placed something in his waistband. He walked up to the would-be buyer in a stance that suggested he was about to pull a gun.
Afraid for his life, the man drew his own gun and fired several rounds into Diaz, who fled in his car at a high speed. Officers were able to find Diaz shortly afterward with non-life-threatening gunshot wounds. He was treated at a hospital and then booked for armed robbery.
Stranger danger is real on the Internet, for adults as well as children. In another incident back in June, a teenage girl’s online chat partner tracked her down all the way from New Zealand to Goochland, Virginia, until he arrived on her doorstep and was shot by the girl’s mother.
The Orange County Sheriff warns the public to be aware “of the many dangers that exist in agreeing to meet unknown people from Internet sites or phone apps.”
You have been so advised.