- The Washington Times - Tuesday, September 4, 2012

A Hyattsville man stabbed a person he agreed to pay for a sex act this weekend after discovering his sex partner was a man posing as a woman, police said Tuesday.

After returning to the 41-year-old victim’s Silver Spring home to apologize for the attack on Sunday, Christian Ariel Romero, 20, of the 1800 block of Avalon Place in Hyattsville was arrested and charged with attempted first- and second-degree murder, first- and second-degree assault, reckless endangerment and theft under $1,000. He was being held without bond but at a court appearance in Montgomery County District Court on Tuesday, Mr. Romero’s bond was lowered to $500,000.

The victim is in stable condition at a hospital with non-life-threatening injuries, Montgomery County police said Tuesday.

According to police, Mr. Romero met the victim at Cococabana Bar and Grill at 2031-A University Blvd., Hyattsville. He approached the victim — who police say was posing as a woman — outside the club. They made an arrangement that the victim would perform a sex act on Mr. Romero for money at the victim’s home on the 1000 block of Ruatan Street.

Police say that the two men went to the victim’s home and the sex act occurred. The two went outside to smoke cigarettes and after realizing his sex partner was a man, Mr. Romero stabbed the victim several times in the upper body with a folding knife when his back was turned, said Montgomery County police spokesman Capt. Paul Starks.

Officers responded to the home, which the victim shared with several others who rented rooms there, around 6:15 a.m. Sunday but Mr. Romero was no longer there.

On Sunday afternoon, police said Mr. Romero returned to the victim’s home to apologize for the stabbing. Other people who were at the home called police.

“It certainly is rare,” Capt. Starks said of Mr. Romero’s return to the crime scene to apologize.

Since he was taken into custody, Mr. Romero has been cooperative with the department’s investigation, Capt. Starks said.

Regardless of the nature of the relationship that led to the attack, police warned that people should be cautious when engaging with strangers.

“If you begin to engage in a close relationship with someone you don’t know, you are putting yourself at risk and this is evidence of this certainly,” Capt. Starks said.