4
| Crime |

Feds Charge Parker County Teen With Hate Crime for Kidnapping Gay Man He Met Online

^
Keep Dallas Observer Free
I Support
  • Local
  • Community
  • Journalism
  • logo

Support the independent voice of Dallas and help keep the future of Dallas Observer free.

In September, Brice Johnson starting talking to Arron Keahey on MeetMe.com, a networking and dating app. Keahey's profile said he was looking for other men. Johnson, a 19-year-old from Springtown (a half hour's drive northwest of Fort Worth) indicated that he was straight in his own profile, but nonetheless started flirting with Keahey, inviting him over and giving him his cell phone number, federal prosecutors say.

The talked about sex in text messages. Keahey naturally assumed Johnson was gay or bisexual and headed over to Johnson's home.

As soon as Keahey showed up, he said it was immediately clear something was wrong.

"He started getting all frustrated and talking all angrily," Keahey told WFAA in September. "I don't remember anything after that."

Police say Johnson severely beat Keahey, then bound him by his hands and put him in the trunk of his car. He drove Keahey to the hospital after friends threatened to call the cops if he didn't, according to a criminal complaint.

A federal grand jury has decided to indict Johnson on charges that he targeted Keahey based on his sexual orientation, the U.S. Attorney's office announced yesterday. In addition to the hate crime, Johnson is also being charged with kidnapping. If the grand jury finds him guilty, Johnson could face life in prison.

Keahey spent 10 days in the hospital.

Johnson had later told police that he didn't think the sexual messages he and Keahey exchanged on MeetMe were "for real." He also said Keahey grabbed his crotch, though the victim denied ever touching him.

Keep the Dallas Observer Free... Since we started the Dallas Observer, it has been defined as the free, independent voice of Dallas, and we would like to keep it that way. Offering our readers free access to incisive coverage of local news, food and culture. Producing stories on everything from political scandals to the hottest new bands, with gutsy reporting, stylish writing, and staffers who've won everything from the Society of Professional Journalists' Sigma Delta Chi feature-writing award to the Casey Medal for Meritorious Journalism. But with local journalism's existence under siege and advertising revenue setbacks having a larger impact, it is important now more than ever for us to rally support behind funding our local journalism. You can help by participating in our "I Support" membership program, allowing us to keep covering Dallas with no paywalls.

We use cookies to collect and analyze information on site performance and usage, and to enhance and customize content and advertisements. By clicking 'X' or continuing to use the site, you agree to allow cookies to be placed. To find out more, visit our cookies policy and our privacy policy.

 

Join the Observer community and help support independent local journalism in Dallas.

 

Join the Observer community and help support independent local journalism in Dallas.