An Austin man looking for love ends up in the hospital. It's an online dating horror story and it's all too common. One woman who was nearly killed by a man who she met on a dating website is trying to do something about it.
A Las Vegas woman says after she broke off a relationship with a man whom she met on Match.com, he came after her.
"It's a very traumatic thing for anybody to have to go through," Mary Kay Beckman said.
According to police, 53-year-old Wade Ridley told them, "I knocked her to the ground and began stabbing her repeatedly until the knife broke. I then continued by stomping on her head and neck until she stopped making the gurgling noise."
While Mary Kay Beckman was in the hospital, police say Ridley murdered an Arizona woman who he'd also met on the website. He committed suicide in jail. Beckman is now suing Match.com for $10 million. She also wants the company to add a warning disclaimer on the site.
"It's my mission and goal to save someone from being hurt or help someone make a different decision with their online dating choices," she said.
Too late for an Austin man who went to an apartment complex off North Lamar earlier this month to meet a woman he met online. When he showed up, police say he was robbed by two men. They hit him multiple times in the head with a hammer.
According to court documents, the victim suffered a fractured skull and a fractured left hand.
Police say the woman, identified as Dawn Cox and a man named Markell Myers were caught when they used the victim's credit cards. Police are still searching for the other man involved.
Jason Zachman of Top Gun Security and Investigations checks things out before the first meeting.
"We get an average of two phone calls a day," he said.
In November, a woman called just in time.
"He had a felony bond, aggravated assault, I believe he had two charges for that so it was not a pretty picture. So, she did not go on a date like that," said Zachman.
Zachman says cases like that are rare, but it's important to do your own background check.
And when the time to meet comes, Zachman has this advice, "Meet in a neutral location so that way if you feel something's up you want to make sure you can easily get out of there or you at least have someone witnessing."
Match.com released the following statement regarding Beckman's lawsuit:
"What happened to Mary Kay Beckman is horrible but this lawsuit is absurd. The many millions of people who have found love on Match.com and other online dating sites know how fulfilling it is. And while that doesn't make what happened in this case any less awful, this is about a sick, twisted individual with no prior criminal record, not an entire community of men and women looking to meet each other."
Match.com offers several pages of safety tips for users.