Teen "set-up" by man he met on Grindr, beaten in ruthless attack

HAVERHILL, Mass. — Five teenagers are being held without bail in the case of a vicious beating in a remote area of Haverhill.

According to a police report, a teen victim said he was lured into the violent ambush by one of the suspects he had met on the popular dating-app Grindr.

19-year-old Lorenco Gjegji, of Haverhill, reportedly picked up the victim with one of the other suspects, 18-year-old Joshua Blanchard, of Haverhill.

Police say the victim told officers he thought he was being taken to the Millvale Reservoir to smoke marijuana.

It wasn’t long before the encounter took an unexpected turn. Shortly after parking by the woods, two additional cars pulled up behind them.

Several more teens, ages 18 and 19, got out of those vehicles and things escalated quickly.

Court documents describe the victim being dragged out the car and beaten with a baton. He was also repeatedly punched and kicked.

The two teens who had picked him up earlier in the evening are alleged to have been involved in setting up the calculated and vicious attack.

Those suspects reportedly stole the victim’s Air Jordan sneakers, $140 in cash as well as his cell phone. They then allegedly kidnapped the victim, driving him to Lawrence in an effort to score marijuana.

The victim was later dropped back off in Haverhill.

A police log states that officers responded to an area hospital on Sunday around midnight. That’s where the victim had been admitted with extensive and visible injuries, including a possible concussion.

Police did not provide an update to Boston 25 News on the victim’s current condition.

There are conflicting reports as to why the victim was targeted. Police did not confirm a motive to Boston 25 News on Wednesday.

Along with Gjegji and Blanchard, 18-year-old Cade Ford, of Haverhill, 19-year-old Joseph Clohisy, of Haverhill, and 18-year-old Richard Pedro, of Methuen, are also charged in the crime.

All five suspects have been arraigned on charges of assault and battery with a dangerous weapon, kidnapping and armed robbery.

The men are being held without bail ahead of a dangerousness hearing on Friday.

Boston 25 News made contact with several relatives of the accused, but those family members did not wish to comment on the allegations.