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Officers arrest man for online dating threats at UWM campus

Defendant was sending threats over 'Grindr' app.
Posted at 12:15 PM, Sep 29, 2018
and last updated 2018-09-30 10:34:32-04

University of Wisconsin-Milwaukee officers responded to a complaint of threatening phone messages at Sandburg Residence Hall on Tuesday.

The victim told officers that he was receiving threats of death and rape from someones under the screen name 'suckME' on the dating app, Grindr and that he feared for his safety. 

The defendant, Preston Ellison, began sending threats to the victim after he refused to engage in sexual contact with him without seeing a picture of his face. 

Ellison also arrived at UWM campus and continued harassing the victim.

"I see you in that office with the cops little b****," he said in a text message. "I'll still shoot those pigs too. Tell them head shots only."

Officers then reviewed security camera footage and saw Ellison outside Sandburg Residence Hall with a phone in his hand. Footage also showed Ellison leaving campus.

Officers went to the area Ellison was last seen and located him on the north side of E. Locust St. He was ordered him to the ground and taken into custody for a Mirandized interview with the officer.

Ellison admitted to sending violent messages to the victim over Grindr and said he made threats because he was upset the victim wouldn't meet with him and that he wasn't really going to kill him. He also said he wasn't going to kill the officers and he was just 'talking s***.'

He faces charges of Threat to Law Enforcement Officer with a fine of no more than $10,000 and/or imprisonment for no more than six years. He also faces one count of Computer Message-Threaten/Injury or Harm with fines of no more than $1,00 and/or imprisonment up to 90 days upon conviction. 

Ellison went through intake on Saturday.