A Villager has been charged with stalking a man he met through an online dating application.
Russell Edward Thompson, 53, who lives at 9571 SE 168th Elderberry Place in the Village of Springdale, was arrested Friday afternoon on multiple charges by Sumter County sheriff’s deputies.
A man who lives with his 73-year-old grandmother in The Villages met Thompson through an online dating application, according to an arrest report. Apparently, the relationship didn’t work out and the grandson reported receiving “threatening messages” from Thompson.
During the month of August, the grandson said he was home alone at his grandmother’s house when he heard a “loud banging on the front door.” He saw a “male subject walking away from the door while looking in a window.” It was later discovered that the home’s doorbell had been removed and was found in the street. A solar-style garden light was also removed from the walkway and broken in half.
Later that same month, the home’s air conditioning suddenly stopped working. An air conditioning repairman found that the breaker box beside the air conditioning condenser had been “forcefully” damaged. The repair cost $327.85.
Later that month, the grandson was home alone when he heard another loud noise, leading to the discovery or fresh damage to the air conditioning unit. This time the repair cost $152.15.
Thompson was believed to have fled the residence in a red Jeep SUV. The vehicle and its license plate were captured on a Community Watch surveillance camera. Thompson, who stands 6 feet 4 inches tall and weighs 300 pounds, was also captured on surveillance and was wearing an orange shirt.
Thompson consented to a phone interview, and a detective concluded that Thompson had “a clear intent to harass the victim and the victim’s family.”
The Petersburg, Va. native was arrested on multiple charges including stalking and criminal mischief. He was booked at the Sumter County Detention Center on $8,000 bond.