Prostitution scheme turns violent with toddler present - ABC 33/40 - Birmingham News, Weather, Sports

Prostitution scheme turns violent with toddler present

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Tuscaloosa investigators says a prostitution issue lead to a robbery scam and shooting this weekend with a nine month old boy involved.  They say the victim logged on to one of those dating websites. 

"He contacted a female based on her advertisement at a web site, negotiated a sum of money," says Capt. Loyd Baker with the Tuscaloosa Metro Homicide unit.

Police say the woman arranged to meet the man at the Guest Lodge motel off Interstate 59 and McFarland Boulevard.  Once he arrived.  His apparent arrangement for sex took a twist.

"He noticed there was a male in a vehicle outside the hotel watching. He didn't think a lot about it until he went inside. Apparently, the negotiations failed. The female texted someone and the male showed up at the door."

That's when shots were fired and the suspects demanded money.  Police say what's really disturbing is the victim brought his nine month old son along.

"He ran to the bathroom with the child, locked himself in and that's when the suspects fled."

 Bullets missed the little boy, but grazed his father's head.

 Investigators are not only looking into this as a prostitution case but possibly a robbery scam.

 "What we've learned is, some potential robbers use these web sites, that are advertised as prostitution are actually a front for robbery rings, where the Johns will show up and they're robbed of their money and refuse to call the police because they're already involved in illegal activity," explained Capt. Baker

 Police won't say which web site was used, but does not believe the Guest Lodge motel is connected.  They do have leads and believe the same two suspects pulled the same prostitution trick at the same hotel the day before.

  When caught they face charges of attempted murder (for shooting at victim), robbery and prostitution.

   However, police say the victim in the case may be charged with Endangering the Welfare of his own child.