Casper Man Accused of Stalking Woman, Tampering With Her Security System
A man who was arrested in May on a strangulation charge now stands accused of stalking an ex-girlfriend and trying to disable her home security system.
John Anthony Fernandez, 32, pleaded not guilty Wednesday morning in Natrona County District Court on a charge of felony stalking as well as misdemeanor counts of violating a protection order and property damage. If convicted on all counts, he could face up to 11 years behind bars and $11,500 in fines.
Charging documents say on the morning of June 11, police were called to a Casper home for a report of property damage. The responding officer spoke with the victim, who said she returned home that morning to find one of her front windows was cracked, and a rock was on the sidewalk.
She also said she reviewed her exterior surveillance system and found her ex-boyfriend, Fernandez, had been on the property trying to disable a security camera as well as motion-sensing lights.
Fernandez can reportedly be clearly seen on the video footage shortly before 3 a.m. setting a short ladder along a corner of the home, just under the camera and motion-sensing lights. He is then seen trying to unscrew the lightbulb while on the ladder. Shortly afterward, Fernandez leaves.
The victim said Fernandez had lived in the home with her before he was arrested for strangulation in May. A protection order was issued on the victim's behalf following the arrest, instructing Fernandez to not stalk the victim, among other directions. He was served that order on May 22.
Police determined the cracked window needed to be replaced, and the camera had evidently been hit with a rock. One of the motion-sensing lights was loose. The officer photographed the damage.
A ladder was reportedly beneath the camera and light; Fernandez allegedly used it to get to the camera and light.
The protection order is detailed in the police affidavit. There have allegedly been several reports of Fernandez violating the protection order, and Fernandez was arrested on warrants on June 9. He was released the next day.
Authorities facilitated a civil standby on June 4, during which Fernandez collected his belongings from the home and gave up all rights to enter the property as a resident. The order of protection gave the victim exclusive possession of the home, which she had purchased four years before Fernandez moved in.
Fernandez was not invited to be on the property for any reason.
In order to see if any ankle monitor information for Fernandez was available, an officer called a bail bonds company which used to bond Fernandez out of jail. The officer called twice, but the company did not return his calls.
Checks at three addresses for Fernandez turned up nothing.
Police determined that Fernandez violated the protection order by going to the property, committed the crime of property damage by damaging the window and camera and committed felony stalking by continually contacting the victim in violation of the protection order.
"Fernandez had, and continues to have, unwanted contact with [the victim]; as well as, continuing to harass [the victim] using other people. Fernandez also attempted to disable the security cameras of [the victim's] residence and damaged her property in the process. This is all after an initial arrest for [Family Violence Prevention Act] by strangulation. Fernandez appears to be disregarding the judge's Order of Protection and escalating back toward another violent incident involving [the victim]," charging papers say.
Natrona County Sheriff's deputies ended up finding Fernandez on the evening of June 11 at the Loaf N Jug on Salt Creek Highway, and arrested him without incident.