Last year, a Los Angeles-area woman was assaulted while on a date with a man she met on Instagram and now she’s telling her story, in an effort to prevent the situation from happening to anyone else.
The incident occurred last July, after 32-year-old India Ali met up with 27-year-old James Baker for a date.
Ali said she met Baker through Instagram, where the two began to talk and get to know each other, before she felt comfortable enough to set up a date.
“He didn’t really look like a creep from his pictures. He looked like he had it gong on,” Ali said of Baker.
When Ali met up with Baker, she posted most of the night on Instagram, sharing several videos of the two out on the town, drinking and having fun. At the end of the date, the two left the restaurant and headed his hotel near the Los Angeles International Airport, though Ali did not recall.
The next morning, Ali woke up in a pool of her own vomit and immediately contacted the police, using the hotel phone after realizing her phone and car keys had been taken.
“It was horrible. I woke up. I lifted my head up. I was lying in a puddle of throw up. So I look around and I see blood everywhere and my clothes everywhere,” Ali recalled, adding that her reflection showed how badly she’d been beaten up.
Ali was then taken to a local hospital, where her injuries were revealed.
“She had been punched in the head so badly that it had caused a swelling in the brain. The brain, when it expands, has nowhere to go so it forces down – and that’s what triggers the vomit action. It pressures the fourth vertebrae,” Los Angeles County Deputy District Attorney said.
Authorities used Find My iPhone to track down Ali’s cellphone, which subsequently led them back to Baker, who was in Ali’s car near LAX. He was arrested, charged and found guilty of felony assault, auto theft and use of forge credit cards.
“I wouldn’t want anybody to go and meet up with anybody that they don’t know. Please don’t ever do that,” Ali said. “You have to value your life.”