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Five arrested in possible gay bashing after luring man to park for sex

Saturday, February 16, 2013
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GRESHAM, Ore. — Police in Gresham, Ore., said they have arrested five young people for beating and robbing a man they lured into a park under the pretense that he would be meeting another man for sex.

Justin Sims (Booking photo)

Police said they received a report early Friday of masked people with guns punching and kicking a man at Vance Park in Gresham.

The robbers fled, but were later arrested and charged with robbery, intimidation and assault. Four are juveniles, three boys and a girl. A fifth was identified as 19-year-old Justin Simms of Gresham.

The victim Adam Salnardi, a 24-year-old Clackamas man, said his wallet and cellphone were stolen, and he suffered only minor injuries.

Salnardi later told KATU-TV that he was lured to the park through a dating website under the ruse that he would be meeting a homeless man who needed his help.

They had planned to meet the man at midnight at the park.

“We were just talking and he told me wanted to hang out, that he was homeless, I thought maybe I’d be able to help him and I just go there to meet him,” Salnardi said.

Police called it “a targeted attack based on his sexual orientation.”

Police believe the same group may have attacked other gay men using the same ruse, possibly also at Vance Park or in the surrounding area, but that victims were unwilling to report them.

Associated Press contributed to this report.

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