A Las Vegas woman is suing Match.com for $10 million, after the online dating service allegedly paired her with a man who stabbed her 10 times in the face and chest in an attempt to kill her.
Mary Kay Beckman, 50, claims in a lawsuit filed earlier this month that she joined the website looking for a “healthy loving relationship,” but instead was nearly killed.
Beckman says she went on a few dates in October 2011 with Wade Ridley, but after ending the relationship came home one day to find him in her garage with a knife.
Ridley “brutally stabbed [Beckman] 10 times with a knife about her head, face and upper body, until the overwhelming force he applied to the stabbing caused the knife to break,” according to court documents.
According to her lawsuit, Ridley then “stomped and kicked” her in the head until she “stopped making the gurgling noise” and left her for dead.
A neighbor found Beckman and she was rushed to the hospital where she endured multiple surgeries over several weeks.
While Beckman was in the hospital, Ridley was arrested for the murder of an Arizona woman, also an ex-girlfriend. Many of the details of Beckman’s attack came from Ridley himself when police later questioned him.
He told police he waited for Beckman in her garage and had killed the other woman because he felt they had both jilted him, according to an arrest report.
Ridley, who had no prior record of dangerous crimes, was convicted of the other murder and died in jail last year while serving a 70-year sentence.
Match.com argues the lawsuit is frivolous and says it offers tips for safe dating on the site. Online dating is no less safe than meeting someone “at a bar or at church,” said Match spokeswoman Eva Ross.
“What happened to Mary Kay Beckman is horrible, but this lawsuit is absurd,” Ross said in a statement. “The many millions of people who have found love on Match.com and other online dating sites know how fulfilling it is. And while that doesn’t make what happened in this case any less awful, this is about a sick, twisted individual with no prior criminal record, not an entire community of men and women looking to meet each other.”
In her suit Beckman says the tips posted on the Match.com site do not go far enough and the company needs to overtly warn users of potential dangers.
A Wisconsin sheriff says he released an ad calling on residents to defend themselves because the old model of having a citizen call 911 and wait for help isn’t always the best option.
In the ad, Milwaukee County Sheriff David Clarke Jr. tells residents that when it comes to personal safety: “I need you in the game.” He urges citizens to learn to use firearms so they can “fight back” until authorities arrive.
The ad has drawn sharp criticism from other area officials. The president of the Milwaukee Deputy Sheriffs’ Association, Roy Felber, says it sounds like a call to vigilantism.
But Clarke says he can either whine about budget cuts that have reduced the number of deputies or call on citizens to work with officers in some situations.