NEW YORK (CBS New York) — A woman looking for love online says she got more than she expected, and now police are calling her ex-boyfriend a dating app killer.
The woman who once dated the accused killed says he seemed like a cool guy until she started noticing red flags. She tells CBS2 she narrowly escaped being killed just weeks before she learned her former boyfriend was charged with rape and murder.
“He kept saying ‘I’m gonna kill you, I’m gonna kill you, I’m gonna kill you’,” said Zynea Barney. Her ex, 27-year-old Danueal Drayton, is accused of killing a Queens nurse and raping a Brooklyn woman.
Barney says she dated Drayton for six months before he attacked her after she broke up with him.
“He choked me,” she said. “I still have the mark here to this date from him sticking his finger so far down my throat.”
Despite the assault, Barney says she was shocked to learn Drayton was arrested in Los Angeles last week. Police say he attempted to kill a woman say he held captive after taking her on a date.
Drayton is also the suspect in the murder of a Queens nurse, 29-year-old Samantha Stewart, in her home. Barney says she’s lucky she and her three-year-old son are safe.
“He never seemed like he was that type of guy,” she said. “Guess he knows how to play his cards. It’s just sick.”
Barney says she met Drayton last year on the dating app “Plenty of Fish.” When she found out he was also talking to other women online she called their relationship off. That’s when he tried to stranger her in her car at a park in Nassau County.
“He grabbed my throat, unlocked my seat of the car,” she said. “He tried to come around the car, he got out to finish the job.”
She says Drayton came to her aid when witnesses came to her aid. He was later arrested, but police could not legally hold him. The threats got even worse, according to Barney, who claimed he sent texts and Facebook messages that he would harm her and her son.
“The more I started to distance myself, the more I saw qualities of him being possessive,” said Barney. “He climbed through my window, he would be in my car.”
Even neighbors say he slashed her tires and broke into her home, prompting repeated calls to police.
“They’d been to our house plenty of times,” neighbor Ilana Holden said. “It’s scary to deal with, the cops and stuff like that. It’s just out of control.”
On Monday, Drayton pleaded not guilty to rape and murder charges in California. He’s awaiting extradition to New York, and has claimed involvement in six other murders. So far, the NYPD and LAPD have not found any evidence of his involvement.