Crime

Arrest made after man assaulted by online date in wooded area, NC cops say

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An officer with the Greenville Police Department in South Carolina provides some advice for avoiding becoming a victim.
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An officer with the Greenville Police Department in South Carolina provides some advice for avoiding becoming a victim.

A North Carolina man had to go to a hospital after spending time with someone he met on a dating website, officials say.

The man, a 34-year-old Taylorsville resident, first saw his date — later identified as Ethan Trent Roten, 18 — at about 4 a.m. Wednesday, according to the Denver Citizen.

The two met online the night before, the Lincoln County Sheriff’s Office said in a news release.

The Taylorsville man walked through the woods and to a river bank with his date before he was struck in the face, according to the release.

“The victim blacked out for a short period of time and when he woke up he saw the suspect running down the path where they had walked” at the Lincoln County Walking Trail, the sheriff’s office said.

The 34-year-old was missing vaping supplies, $300 in cash and other belongings, according to Lincoln County officials.

He “was not familiar with the area” and ended up driving to a store before he was taken to a hospital for an eye injury, the sheriff’s office said.

Roten, of Hickory, was arrested Saturday and charged with common law robbery, a felony, according to officials. His bond was set at $20,000.

The arrest came after the sheriff’s office says it released a photo of the suspect, who used the name “Ethan” in an online dating profile.

Joe Marusak contributed to reporting.

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