Grounded: Suburban man charged with robbing hotel hookups he met via Grindr

Davion Johnson sports a heart-shaped tattoo under his left eye, a feature recalled by some of the hotel robbery victims. | CPD

They got him.

Chicago police on Monday afternoon arrested Davion Johnson, the 20-year-old south suburban man that they were seeking for a series of downtown hotel guest robberies connected to the Grindr gay hookup app.

And, yes, he just happens to be the prime suspect that CWBChicago reported on last week — the one who was freed on $150 bond after being charged with stealing from yet another Grindr date last month in a hotel near the Mag Mile while carrying a gun.

Prosecutors alleged in court records today that Johnson:

  • Pushed and took the wallet of a 42-year-old man inside a condo at 1255 North State Parkway on Nov. 5
  • Stole the wallet of a 57-year-old Miami Beach man from a guest room at the Trump International Hotel & Tower on Nov. 6
  • Displayed a stun gun and took valuables from a 42-year-old man from Sesto San Giovanni, Italy, at the W Lake Shore Hotel on Jan. 23

Police believe Johnson may be responsible for other robberies of Grindr dates at downtown hotel rooms, but investigators have had trouble getting cooperation from some victims who live out of town or are embarrassed by the circumstances of their meeting with the offender.

Officially, though, Johnson today was charged with Class X felony armed robbery, felony robbery, and misdemeanor theft.

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Police did not publicly connect the two November cases with the crime spree when Area Central detectives issued a community alert about the pattern last Thursday night.

Other men reported being robbed by a Taser-wielding Grindr date in downtown hotel rooms since mid-December:

As CWBChicago reported exclusively last week, Johnson was arrested at the Inn of Chicago, 162 East Ohio, in December after he allegedly hooked up with a 65-year-old man via Grindr and then tried to steal property from the man’s hotel room.

A physical altercation broke out in the hotel hallway when the victim confronted Johnson about the theft, CPD spokesperson Kellie Bartoli told us last week. Hotel staff intervened and held both parties until the police arrived.

Officers said they found the victim’s stolen property and a handgun in Johnson’s possession during a search.

Prosecutors charged Johnson with misdemeanor theft and misdemeanor unlawful use of a weapon. He paid a $150 deposit bond to go free while awaiting trial. If the new allegations against him are true, it looks like he went right back to work using Grindr to lure in robbery victims.

CWBChicago also reported last week that Johnson recently completed two years of court supervision after he pleaded guilty to threatening a Sauk Village woman with a Taser in a domestic-related incident in July 2018.

Editor’s note: This story was updated at 2:30 p.m. on Feb. 4 to include additional details from court records.