A Georgia man has been arrested in New York for allegedly attacking a woman he met on a dating app, police said. Benjamin Fancher, 31, was arrested in Kent, New York at 8 a.m. Tuesday on warrants issued in Atlanta, Georgia on charges of kidnapping, false imprisonment, and aggravated assault, according to Atlanta Police Officer Steve Avery.
Fancher is accused of attacking Brittany Correri last week while the two were out on a first date after meeting on the dating app Hinge, officials said.
Recounting that harrowing night, Correri told WXIA-TV Fancher had picked her up at her home in a white BMW, and everything seemed normal. He had met her friends and family. They had gone to a few different bars and restaurants and things seemed to be going great, she said.
She described him as a “super nice guy.” “I felt that we connected. He made me comfortable,” she told WSBTV-Atlanta. The pair had even taken a photo together. At the time, Correri said, it seemed hard to believe that she had met him only a few hours earlier on the dating app.
Until, she said, things turned violent.
“He got very angry. He started beating me in my head, punching me everywhere — my forehead, my temples, my cheeks, jaws, throat, arms, my back,” Correri told the news station. “He was just telling me that the date cost too much, that I’m not worth that,” she said.
At one point, she said, he had pulled out a gun. “I just believe that he was dead set on killing me,” she said.
“I’ve never been so badly beaten,” she told the news station. She said that Fancher had called her the “N” word and became irate after she had been dancing with two Black women at the bar.
“He told me he was going to shoot me and that I picked the wrong white boy,” she told the news outlet.
Correri said when Fancher stopped his car, he pulled her out by the hair and started dragging and beating her until a nearby security guard, named Fantasia Atkinson, saw what had been happening and ran to intervene.
“She comes running and taking pictures and I think he gets spooked,” Correri told the New York Post, adding that at that point, he drove away.
Correri, who was able to speak to investigators after the ordeal, told them that Fancher would not let her out of his car and that they drove around for about an hour as he continued to beat her with his handgun.
Traumatized but grateful to be alive, Correri wanted to share her story so it wouldn’t happen to someone else. She went on social media, showing pictures of her injuries and photos of the man she said had attacked her.
Correri later learned that sharing her story had saved another young woman from allegedly getting attacked. Another woman, who asked not to be identified, helped play a major role in bringing Fancher into custody, according to WSB-TV Atlanta.
“The first thing that struck me was how easily I could have been Brittany,” the woman told the news station.
The woman, who lives in New York, said she met Fancher on a dating app recently, but they never went out. She said Fancher told her that he had moved there from Georgia.
She said that when she saw Correri’s social media post about meeting a man on a dating app and getting brutally attacked. She said that as soon as she saw his picture she immediately recognized him.
“The second they put his picture up, I was like, ‘Oh my God. I know him,’” the woman said.
She remembered Fancher had told that he had a job there and recently moved in with his grandparents. She then found his grandparents’ address and said she drove by. She said as soon as she saw his car in the driveway she went straight to the police, reported WSB-TV.
Fancher was arrested soon after.
“My gut instinct was right,” the woman said.
Correri’s attorney, Michael Sterling, told Inside Edition Digital that Fancher had been planning to go out on a date with a different woman he had met on Tinder, another dating app owned by the same company as Hinge.
“Hinge and Tinder are all under the same company, Match Group. Why didn’t anyone flag this?” asked Sterling. “The suspect fled to New York and when police caught him he had already been using another dating app. He assaulted Britney and then he goes on Tinder.”
In a statement, Hinge told Inside Edition Digital that they were “outraged” by the alleged attack and said their “moderators reviewed the report and immediately removed and banned the individual from their community.
“The violence she describes is horrible and is something no one should ever have to experience,” the company said. “We take any incident of assault seriously, and we ban anyone accused of violent behavior from our platform.”
A tearful Correri told the news station that her biggest regret was getting into that car and that she can’t wait to see the security guard who saved her life.
In the meantime, Sterling is disappointed with the company’s response and said he is trying to protect others from encountering the same misfortune.
Inside Edition Digital reached out to Hinge to clarify if they offer or require background checks on its users. The company sent an email statement on where users can go on their site to find the company’s safety policies. Those policies advise users of its website that they do not do “criminal background or identity verification checks on it users or otherwise inquire into the background of its users.” The company sent an email statement on where users can go on their site to find the company’s safety policies.
The statement says that, “More information about Hinge’s safety policies can be found in our Help Center under Member Principles, Expectations, & Reporting. We will continue to explore and invest in new ways to make sure we’re keeping our community as safe and protected as possible, in consultation with our safety advisory council.”
Fancher is awaiting extradition to Georgia.
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