GARFIELD HEIGHTS — Nearing the weekend, people are gearing up for date nights, and some could be first dates that were matched online. After a Garfield Heights date turned deadly, the CEO of one dating app is urging others to date with caution.
Steve Macecevic is the CEO and founder of Cleveland-based dating app Datefit, an app geared towards those with healthy lifestyles. Since its September 2018 inception, the app has gained more than 50,000 users around the world.
"You can pretend to be anyone you want on a dating app," Macecevic said. "It’s super convenient. You can find who you’re looking for, but they can also be dangerous.”
Macecevic said the desperation to meet someone fast is problematic.
"They’re so consumed with finding that right person, and maybe sometimes they overlook that there are people out there that want to do harm," Macecevic said.
This warning came after Shakira Graham was arrested Wednesday night by members of the Northern Ohio Violent Fugitive Task Force on a warrant for homicide, according to a news release from the U.S. Marshals Service.
Graham allegedly met the victim, 27-year-old Meshach Cornwall, on a dating website, then stayed over at Cornwall’s Garfield Heights home on Dec. 15, 2018.
Two days later, Graham allegedly returned to Cornwall’s home, shot, killed him and stole various items from his residence.
“I don’t think he knew exactly who he was dealing with. I think she had a plan, and obviously she put together that plan, and ended up killing him," U.S. Marshal Pete Elliott said, warning those on dating apps to proceed with caution.
Macecevic shared a few tips before meeting up with a potential beau:
- Meet in a public place
- Keep drinking to a minimum
- Check their social media sites
- Do a quick Google search
- Have an escape plan
"Having an escape plan will be as simple as having a friend call you at a certain time. When your phone rings, if the date isn't going well, you have the opportunity to leave," Macecevic said.
In response to the Garfield Heights incident, Datefit is adding safety tips to its blog section in hopes of preventing another tragedy.