Entries in Stalking (7)


New Mexico Republican Arrested for Stalking Political Rival

Photodisc/Digital Vision/Thinkstock(NEW YORK) -- A former Republican candidate for Congress in New Mexico is being held for allegedly stalking his opponent after he was previously arrested for allegedly slashing her tires.

Gary Smith, 56, was arrested Wednesday on felony aggravated stalking charges when former Republican nominee for Congress Janice Arnold-Jones' husband spotted Smith's car near their Albuquerque home on New Year's Day.  Arnold-Jones' surveillance video also captured the red car pulling up near her driveway, according to police.

Det. Lorenzo Garcia told ABC News on Wednesday that Smith made a statement that he didn't know driving by Arnold-Jones' home was a violation of his bail, although a judge told him to stay away from the premises after he was arrested on Dec. 28, and charged with criminal damage to property for allegedly slashing her tires.

"A candidate for Congress was violating another candidate's vehicle.  These are all stalking charges.  Who knows if he was there all night, if he was planning to do vandalism or further harm," Garcia said.

Smith ran against Arnold-Jones in New Mexico's first congressional district primary back in June.  Arnold-Jones won the primary but lost the general election to Democrat Michelle Lujan Grisham.

Arnold-Jones became suspicious of numerous tire slashings around the neighborhood and set up a surveillance system outside her home.

"The morning of the [December] 20th at 3:30 a.m., Gary Smith is very visible taking out all of our tires yet again.  All eight tires," Arnold-Jones told ABC News.

Smith's former campaign manager, Rhead Story, says his tires were slashed some 54 times and believes his former boss is behind it.

"I'm scared for my children.  I'm scared for everyone else that's involved, because something has gone wrong," said Story.  "The power steering fluid was punctured and the windshield wiper hose was ripped out.  He could have been going for the brake lines, we don't know."

"He's been warned to not come near any of us.  Not even our neighborhood yet he's here," Arnold-Jones said after Smith's latest arrest.

Smith is scheduled to appear in court Friday and other charges may come, Garcia said.

Copyright 2013 ABC News Radio


Police Seek Man Charged with Stalking Houston TV Reporter

KPRC(HOUSTON) -- Authorities are in pursuit of a man accused of stalking a Houston local television news anchor and traffic reporter, who now "is in fear of her life," the Houston Chronicle reported.

Investigators, according to the paper, said Christopher Marcus Olson, 38, has been hounding KPRC-TV's Jennifer Reyna since Sept. 14, despite a no-contact order issued by a state district judge in May 2007 after Olson twice crashed his car through the front door of the local news station.

Police have recorded five separate incidents since September in which Olson has followed Reyna from work, waited in an adjacent parking lot for her to arrive at work, and contacted her by phone, bypassing the screening technology she has in place.

KPRC-TV's senior executive producer, Rick McFarland, told ABC News that he was unable to comment on the case.  He also said Reyna had chosen not to comment.

Olson was arrested and charged with felony criminal mischief following the second station crash in May 2007.  He was also arrested in February 2010 for ignoring the no-contact order, and was released on bond in March 2011, the Houston Chronicle reported.

An arrest warrant for Olson was filed on Dec. 27 with the Harris County District Clerk.  His bond was set at $80,000, according to the Harris County District Clerk's Office.

Anyone with information about Olson is asked to contact the Houston police at 713-308-3280.

Copyright 2013 ABC News Radio


Ohio Student Wins Stalking Order Against Parents

Obtained by ABC(NEW YORK) -- A 21-year-old theatre student has obtained a civil stalking restraining order against her parents after convincing a judge that they attempt to control all aspects of her daily life.

Aubrey Ireland is a theatre major at the College-Conservatory of Music at the University of Cincinnati, often winning major roles in her school's musicals.  Her latest win wasn't at her prestigious music conservatory, but in court after she filed a civil stalking order against her parents.  

Earlier this month, Common Pleas Court Judge Jody Luebbers ruled in her favor, ordering that her parents must stay at least 500 feet from their only child until September 2013.

"They basically thought that they were paying for my college tuition and living expenses that they could tell me what to do who to hang out with ... basically control all of my daily life," Ireland told ABC News.

The dean's list student's complaints against her parents began when she realized they'd installed monitoring software on her computer and her phone.  They paid unannounced visits, traveling 600 miles from their home in Kansas, to meet with Ireland's department head.

They also accused their daughter of promiscuity, doing drugs and having mental issues to the point where they were considering going to court to order that she get treatment.

"My mom has always been very overly involved," Ireland said.  "I would have to get on Skype all the time to show them that I was in my dorm room, or there were nights I had to leave my Skype on all night and my mom would watch me basically sleep."

The student claims her parents, David and Julie Ireland, have been diagnosed with co-dependency disorder.  Her parents, however, say their daughter is just a good actor, and is lying.  They said she is "an only child who has been catered to all her life."

Because Aubrey has cut all ties with them in a very public way, they now want a refund of the $66,000 they've already paid toward her education.

"We're not bothering her," Julie Ireland said.  "We're not a problem."

But Aubrey said that taking the issue to court was a last resort.

"I never wanted this to happen, that's the last thing I wanted," she said.  "But I wasn't in control of my life at all anymore.  I knew that they were holding me back emotionally, mentally, and professionally and that it got to the point where that was basically my last option."

Copyright 2012 ABC News Radio


'Annoying, Offending' Language Online Would Be Crime Under Arizona Bill

Medioimages/Photodisc/Thinkstock(PHOENIX) -- Distasteful comments and online insults are a mainstay of many social networks and online comment boards, but a new bill passed in Arizona could send people who "annoy or offend" to jail for up to six months.

House Bill 2549, which had bipartisan support, passed in the state's legislature and is awaiting one final vote on a minor "technical change" before the bill is sent to Gov. Jan Brewer.

The bill's sweeping language would severely inhibit First Amendment rights, David Horowitz, executive director of the Media Coalition in New York City, told ABC News.

"Even in talk radio, saying, 'I know this will offend my listeners' is a common practice. It's a tradition, speech that challenges the status quo," he said.

The bill states it would be a class one misdemeanor for anyone to "terrify, intimidate, threaten, harass, annoy or offend" through electronic and digital devices. It does not provide definitions of the terms and what would be considered annoying or offensive.

In a letter to the governor, Horowitz urged a veto "to allow legislators to craft a narrower bill that addresses their concerns without infringing on the right of free speech."

He said her office acknowledged receiving the letter and said it would include it in a pack of materials for the governor to review before she makes her decision.

The governor's office said it would not comment until the legislation reached Brewer's desk.

State Rep. Steve Farley, one of the co-sponsors of the bill, said the intention is not to stifle free speech, but to protect victims of stalking and bullying.

"It doesn't mean that the person is instantly going to be fined or put away," Farley told ABC News. "But if the judge determines it relates to other circumstances in the case then they can use this as another tool to make that decision."

Including Arizona's existing law, 38 states have enacted legislation against electronic bullying, according to the Cyberbullying Research Center.

"I'm a defender of the Constitution like anyone else, but the First Amendment doesn't give you the right to harass or terrorize someone," said Justin Patchin, co-director of the Cyberbullying Research Center. "This certainly doesn't or wouldn't restrict one's freedom of speech. If it does, it will be overturned."

Patchin, who primarily studies cyberbullying in the adolescent community, said he has heard from an increasing number of adults who have been victims too and welcomes the legislation.

"We need to step back and realize there is some harmful stuff that is said out there," he said. "And it really needs to be stopped."

Copyright 2012 ABC News Radio


Washington Woman Planned to Marry Her Alleged Stalking Victim

Misty Bedwell / Design Pics/Thinkstock(SEATTLE) -- The judge was booked, the rings were chosen, but the romance was missing.

Seattle authorities have charged a woman with one count of felony stalking after she allegedly made plans to marry a man who had a restraining order against her.

Madaline Desmet, 64, met the unidentified man briefly two years ago at church. She professed her undying love for him in more than 50 love letters and allegedly followed him around, the Seattle Post-Intelligencer reported.

Despite the man’s rebuffing of her advances and getting a restraining order, the single real estate agent allegedly continued to pursue him.

Church officials banned Desmet from their property after she apparently would not leave the man alone, the Seattle Times reported.

Desmet decided in December that the two should tie the knot. She booked a room at a Seattle courthouse and went to Jared the Galleria of Jewelry, where she chose a ring.

The object of Desmet’s affection alerted authorities when the courthouse called him about the wedding. He also received a phone call from the jewelry store asking him to pay for the ring she had selected.

The lovelorn bride was released last week on $50,000 bail and reportedly told police that the man had pursued her online.

Desmet, who has not yet entered a plea, did not respond to a request for comment.

Copyright 2012 ABC News Radio


NY Little League Mom Arrested for Alleged Threats After Son Fails to Make Team

File photo. Ryan McVay/Thinkstock(EAST MEADOW, N.Y.) -- Keeping kids busy in the summer is paramount for many parents, although not enough to land most of them in jail. But that's where Janet Chiauzzi, 44, found herself after allegedly threatening a Little League official when her son didn't make the summer travel team in East Meadow, N.Y.

"This is a tragic situation and horrible for the community," said Stew MacKay, one of the presidents of the East Meadow Little League on Long Island. "When you deal with children and parents running things, it gets dicey."

Nassau County police allege that a league official and his son received threatening letters from Chiauzzi May 21 after her son did not make the team. In the letters, according to the allegations, Chiauzzi also threatened the official's wife and daughter. Both of his children are younger than 14.

Less than two weeks later, police said, the principal of the children's school received letters from Chiauzzi claiming that the Little League official had abused his children. The Nassau County Child Protective Services investigated the accusations and found them to be groundless.

But Chiauzzi didn't stop there, authorities said. She allegedly sent six more letters to the Little League "attempting to defame the victim and force his removal as an official," according to police.

Chiauzzi was arrested on stalking charges Saturday night.

She has been charged with four counts of stalking, two counts of falsely reporting an incident, two counts of endangering the welfare of a child and four counts of aggravated harassment.

Chiauzzi was arraigned Sunday and later released from jail on $6,000 bail, according to the Nassau County Correctional Center. She could not be reached for comment.

Chiauzzi is expected to appear in court again Wednesday.

Copyright 2011 ABC News Radio


Soldier Treated for PTSD Allegedly Stalked by 'Psychotic' Therapist

Photo Courtesy - Getty Images(FORT RILEY, Kan.) -- A therapist treating an army sergeant for post-traumatic stress disorder allegedly stalked and sexually harassed the soldier -- apparently sending him lewd text messages and threatening his family -- in a case that culminated with a high-speed chase and the therapist in a psychiatric hospital, according to a military investigation.

Prosecutors Tuesday charged Rachelle Santiago, 43, an independent social worker hired to counsel soldiers at Fort Riley in Kansas, with stalking the sergeant who she was counseling for PTSD and marital problems.

Santiago suggested the sergeant meet her in a bar, allegedly rubbed and "humped" against him in her office, sent suggestive and threatening text messages and appeared unannounced at his home, according to an affidavit filed by a military police investigator.

Fearing his wife or children would be hurt, the soldier took the advice of another non-commissioned officer and reported the alleged harassment.

Santiago was barred Jan. 25 from entering the Fort Riley military installation in northeast Kansas, according to investigators. She tried to get on the post that same day and was issued a citation for alleged criminal trespass.

The next day, she allegedly sped through another entrance. Military police began a high-speed pursuit, which reached 100 mph, for nearly an hour, investigators say.

When she eventually stopped, police took her to the Geary Community Hospital, where she underwent a psychiatric examination and was placed under police guard, according to investigators.

Copyright 2011 ABC News Radio

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