Police: Man strangled woman he met on online dating site

It happened Tuesday night around 10 p.m. in the 7700 block of Vernon Place.

NEWPORT NEWS, Va. (WVEC) -- Online dating can be a lot of fun but it can also be very dangerous. This week a woman was nearly killed on a first date, when the man who showed up at her house wasn't who she thought he would be.

It happened Tuesday night around 10 p.m. in the 7700 block of Vernon Place.

“It’s weird that it’s so close to home because I’ve only seen it in other states, this situation happening,” said Cynthia Acvedo.

Acvedo and her friends live in the same neighborhood where the 23-year-old woman was attacked by a man she met over the internet dating site Plenty of Fish.

“That’s why I personally wouldn’t date someone, meeting them off of social media, because you never know the truth, they could be lying about who they are, their age, a picture,” said neighbor Armani Porter.

That’s exactly what happened in this case, when the 23-year-old victim invited 77-year-old Alan Richard Schmitt into her home. Schmitt lives in Montgomery County.

“If you come here and you don’t look like the person you say you are I definitely wouldn’t let you in my house,” said Acvedo.

Police say a physical altercation took place during which the suspect grabbed the woman around the neck, threw her to the ground and began to choke her. Neighbors say appearances can be deceiving.

“He actually looks like a decent man like he would be sweet,” said Acvedo. “It’s really bizarre, it’s crazy honestly.”

Schmitt was arrested at the scene. He’s been charged with one count of strangulation of another.

Neighbor Francisco Hernandez said he wished he could reach out to the victim.

“I’m sorry she went through that situation, and be careful, and probably don’t do that again,” said Hernandez.

Alan Richard Schmitt has been released from jail on bond.

© 2017 WVEC-TV


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