Wednesday, June 3, 2009

Cons to Online Dating...Beware

By Kristal Hawkins
"A Death-Bed Accusation"
"Mike did it," the dying woman whispered.
Nimzay Aponte, 23, lay in the emergency room of Lincoln Hospital in the South Bronx. She'd been rushed there after being stabbed in a park on her lunch break.
Aponte summoned her remaining strength and managed to whisper to the 40th Precinct cops at her bedside, "Mike did it."
If investigators have pieced this together properly—and it looks like an open-and-shut case—this murder was an Internet dating tragedy.
Raymond Dennis, 35, used the name "Mike" on, a New York-area Internet dating site. The Bronx resident is a convicted felon, with multiple arrests and convictions on drug charges.
In October 2008, Dennis pleaded guilty to an assault charge and spent four months in jail. He'd punched a woman in the face, hard enough that blood gushed from her mouth. The year before, he had pleaded guilty to harassment charges for threatening his ex-wife Rashida Dunne. Dunne had already filed an order of protection against him, but such measures, hard enough to set up, are almost impossible to enforce.
Out of jail and with those women off-limits, Dennis turned to Internet dating. He chose As its name declares, this isn't one of those sites that uses extensive, ostensibly scientific questionnaires to match couples based on their personalities and cherished beliefs; it's about hooking up.
Aponte wasn't looking for anything too serious; just a few dates, maybe a new boyfriend. Dennis, it seems, was just looking for trouble.
After finding each other through, Aponte and Dennis chatted a little using AOL's Instant Messenger. They definitely met once in person, according to police. Rumors that the two met multiple times or dated have been reported, but are unsubstantiated. Either way, Aponte wasn't interested in pursuing anything further with Dennis, and it reportedly enraged him.
She described him to her roommate, Carbet Tapia, 24, as an annoying, pushy guy. She called him a crackhead, but it's not clear whether Aponte meant this literally, thinking Dennis had a drug problem, or if she was just telling her roommate that he seemed a little off. According to friends and family, Aponte didn't appear worried about her persistent suitor, though she did tell them he'd threatened her.
On Monday, May 11, 2009, Dennis followed Aponte to a job fair near St. Mary's Park, the large, leafy park in the South Bronx's lower-income Mott Haven neighborhood. She had told him she was going there. Whether she was being too nice, or he just wasn't taking "no" for an answer, Dennis wouldn't give up. She may have thought her job fair appointment got him off her back for at least a little while—but in fact it told him when and where to find her.
When Dennis got to the park, Aponte was talking to a group of men and women outside the job fair site. Dennis was enraged.
"Isn't this lovely?" He sneered, "What's this? Some kind of double date?"
Then he stormed off. But he came back to the job fair the next day with a knife.
During a break in the career seminar she was attending, Aponte sat on a bench in the park. When her assailant arrived, she was talking to another man, William Sherief, 25, who was also attending the seminar. Dennis allegedly surprised them from behind, stabbing the man in the arm, and then stabbing Aponte in the lower back and in her side.
As he fled, he yelled that he'd told her not to lie him.
A bystander dialed 911. Sherief was hospitalized but survived. Aponte died almost immediately.
Police used Aponte's online records and Dennis's screen name to track him down. Just two days after the stabbing, on the morning of Thursday, May 14, they caught up with Dennis a few miles north of St. Mary's, on the corner of Webster and Tremont Avenues in the Bronx's Mt. Hope section. They arrested him and charged him with second-degree murder, assault and the criminal possession of a weapon. At his arraignment the next day, Dennis sat stonily as prosecutors described his alleged acts; he then denied the murder charge.
As Dennis tells it, that first day, he happened to find Aponte in the park. He accused her of toying with his feelings. She denied it, and he left. The next day, he says, he drank a couple beers, smoked some pot, and returned to the park. He insists he does not recall having a knife on him either day. He acknowledges that he attacked Sherief: Dennis wanted a fight, he said, but claims Sherief just ran off. He claims he didn't kill Aponte, just "smacked her" and told her, "That's what you get for playing with my emotions."
Now he awaits trial.

This saddens me because this Dennis character reminds me of someone I know who is equally unpredictable. However, this article has definitely opened my eyes as to how nice one can be and shouldn't be, including myself.

(Source: PanacheReport)

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