Police: New App Could Be Attracting Predators - FOX 29 News Philadelphia | WTXF-TV

ADVERTISEMENT
Bookmark and Share

Police: New App Could Be Attracting Predators

Posted: Updated:

The endless stream of new apps are hard to keep up with, but parents need to keep pace because local police say they're dealing with a horrific case involving an app they've never even heard of.

Fox 29's Sabina Kuriakose has a warning from police all parents should see.

Bensalem Police want you to know about a new way predators could be targeting your kids.

"27 years later just when you think you've seen it all something else happens. These types of crimes are becoming more and more prevalent," said Bensalem Public Safety Director Fred Harran.

Police say a 16-year-old Bucks County girl was allegedly raped by a 42-year-old man she met online.

It's the kind of case Harran sees too often, but this one has a different twist.

“She met him on a social networking site “Whisper,’ said Harran.

"Whisper" is marketed as an anonymous social media app where users can post their deepest secrets. It's been around for a few years, but this is the first time Bensalem Police say they've come across it in a case.

It's as anonymous as you want it to be. However, people eventually meet up with these people and it's not anonymous anymore.

Police are still investigating the case, but police say, Michael Dougherty of Levittown communicated with the teen through the app for weeks.

On Sunday night, he allegedly picked the girl up at Neshaminy Mall. According to police, he raped her inside the Lincoln Motel on Route 1. Court documents say Dougherty videotaped part of the assault. The teen was able to call for help and Dougherty was arrested.

Bucks County residents like Fran Hopkins say social media is evolving so fast that parents and guardians have a tough time keeping up.

Father of two Chuck Lewandowski says he's heard of “Tinder,” which is an app that connects you with nearby strangers. He has seen his friends use the app.

These sites are popping up every day we can't keep up with them and the laws can't keep up with them

App “Grindr” has made recent headlines locally when it was allegedly used by predators to meet and assault victims.

Harran says it's not the apps themselves that are unsafe, but the anonymity of the person on the other

“You need to run into one bad person, one bad person, and your life is changed forever,” he said.

Fox 29 reached out to “Whisper” we did not hear back. Many of these apps including the ones we mentioned have terms of service that prohibit harassment of other users.

  • Sabina Kuriakose ReportsMore>>

  • Two Suspects Charged In Carjacking Crash That Killed Three Children

    Two Suspects Charged In Carjacking Crash That Killed Three Children

    From Left to Right: Cornelius Crawford, 22, and Jonathan Rosa,19.From Left to Right: Cornelius Crawford, 22, and Jonathan Rosa,19.
    Philadelphia Police say they charged two men in connection with the carjacking that killed three children and injured several others in the city’s Tioga section.
    Philadelphia Police say they charged two men in connection with the carjacking that killed three children and injured several others in the city’s Tioga section.


  • Police: Father Punches Wawa Customer For Looking At His Daughter

    Police: Father Punches Wawa Customer For Looking At His Daughter

    Monday, July 28 2014 9:38 PM EDT2014-07-29 01:38:31 GMT
    Upper Darby Police are looking for a father accused of punching another man at a Wawa store after claiming the customer was eyeing his teenage daughter at the Wawa along the 400 block of South 69th Street around 5:15 p.m. on Sunday.
    Upper Darby Police are looking for a father accused of punching another man at a Wawa store after claiming the customer was eyeing his teenage daughter at the Wawa along the 400 block of South 69th Street around 5:15 p.m. on Sunday.

  • Police: Man Turns Gun On Himself After Killing Son, Injuring Girlfriend

    Police: Man Turns Gun On Himself After Killing Son, Injuring Girlfriend

    Sunday, July 27 2014 8:56 PM EDT2014-07-28 00:56:31 GMT
    Pictured 5-Year-Old Cion Styles and Shyema Washington (Family Photo)Pictured 5-Year-Old Cion Styles and Shyema Washington (Family Photo)
    Police say a father fatally shot his son and injured his girlfriend on the 1100 block of Haverford Road in Ridley Township on Saturday night.
    Police say a father fatally shot his son and injured his girlfriend on the 1100 block of Haverford Road in Ridley Township on Saturday night.

  • Local NewsMore>>

  • Feds: 6 Philly Narcotic Cops Robbed, Kidnapped Drug Dealers

    Feds: 6 Philly Narcotic Cops Robbed, Kidnapped Drug Dealers

    Wednesday, July 30 2014 1:20 PM EDT2014-07-30 17:20:24 GMT

    Six former members of the Philadelphia Police Dept.'s narcotics unit have been federally indicted, charged with using robbery, kidnapping and other tactics to shake down more than $500,000 in cash, property and drugs from suspected drug dealers.

    Six former members of the Philadelphia Police Dept.'s narcotics unit have been federally indicted, charged with using robbery, kidnapping and other tactics to shake down more than $500,000 in cash, property and drugs from suspected drug dealers.

  • Youtube Star Makes Good On Promise To Parents

    Youtube Star Makes Good On Promise To Parents

    Wednesday, July 30 2014 12:38 PM EDT2014-07-30 16:38:25 GMT
    A comedian made famous on YouTube made good on a promise he made to his parents years ago.
    A comedian made famous on YouTube made good on a promise he made to his parents years ago.
  • ANOTHER COMFORTABLE DAY

    Wednesday, July 30 2014 10:23 AM EDT2014-07-30 14:23:12 GMT

    Refreshing Forecast Wednesday will feature another comfortable day with below average temperatures and low humidity.  Highs in the upper 70s/Low 80s.  Expect a mix of sun and clouds.

    Wednesday (82/61): Sun/Clouds

    Refreshing Forecast

    Wednesday will feature another comfortable day with below average temperatures and low humidity.  Highs in the upper 70s/Low 80s.  Expect a mix of sun and clouds. A chance of showers and thunderstorms returns tomorrow as we transition into a stormy pattern for the weekend.

    Wednesday (82/61): Sun/Clouds

Powered by WorldNow

WTXF-TV
330 Market Street
Philadelphia, PA 19106-2796

Phone: (215) 925-2929
Fax: (215) 982-5494

Didn't find what you were looking for?
All content © Copyright 2000 - 2014 Fox Television Stations, Inc. and Worldnow. All Rights Reserved.
Privacy Policy | Terms of Service | Ad Choices