A man named Peter Sgromo (pictured above) recently shared details of his encounter with accused Toronto serial killer Bruce McArthur, the 66-year-old landscaper suspected of murdering five men in the city’s Gay Village. According to Sgromo, McArthur brought Sgromo into his empty van and twisted his neck to force him into oral sex, but Sgromo escaped thanks to a self-defense class and some quick thinking.
Peter Sgromo told the Canadian Broadcasting Corporation (CBC) he met McArthur last spring through a former romantic partner and a dating website for bearish men. He claims McArthur seemed eager to meet and so they met at O’Gradys, a restaurant and pub in the Gay Village. During dinner, McArthur mentioned that he’d met a man during his recent trip to Italy and added, “He liked it really rough.”
After dinner, Sgromo walked McArthur to his van, and their farewell hug and peck on the cheek turned to consensual kissing. McArthur eventually offered Sgromo a ride back to his hotel where he was staying with his dog.
Inside the empty van, McArthur invited Sgromo to sit with him on a bench in the back cabin. “We were kissing,” Sgromo said, “kissing turned into some petting. Then he undid my shirt, undid his shirt.”
According to Sgromo, McArthur was sniffing poppers, an inhalant which causes disorientation and heightened bodily sensations. After a while, McArthur reportedly grabbed Sgromo by the head to force it downward for oral sex.
When Sgromo resisted, he said, “[McArthur] really grabbed my neck, violently twisted it, right to his crotch and his pants were undone. That’s when I really was quite disturbed.”
During dinner, Sgromo mentioned that he’d begun taking self-defense classes after some violent encounters while living in San Francisco. Sgromo “grabbed McArthur’s elbow by the funny bone until he was able to make it release.”
When McArthur dropped Sgromo off at the hotel, Sgromo entered and texted McArthur, saying his dog was too sick for him to leave again. Sgromo never saw McArthur again.
“And to me, that was my escape,” Sgromo told the CBC.
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