Man faces federal stalking charges

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Kevin Murphy
Saturday, September 17, 2011
— A Janesville man accused of making 59 threatening calls after losing his job at a local business has been indicted in federal court on interstate stalking charges.

According to an affidavit by FBI Agent Joseph Lavelle:

Joseph E. Crotty, 48, in June was asked to leave his job at Hufcor for threatening a supervisor and for problems with alcohol. Crotty, who recently stated his $363 weekly unemployment compensation checks are about to expire, began making abusive calls Aug. 16 to the work phone of a Hufcor vice president.

The vice president saved many of the calls on voicemail, and Lavelle heard Crotty in the recordings call the vice president vulgar and offensive names. Crotty said he would “haunt” Hufcor employees, according to Lavelle’s affidavit.

Crotty taunted the vice president on the calls about his whereabouts, sometimes saying he was in Oklahoma, Maine, Rhode Island or Janesville.

The Hufcor vice president told law enforcement that she feared for her safety, her family’s safety and the safety of company employees. She and her husband made contingency plans if they encountered Crotty at their home. She feared Crotty might return to Hufcor and harm someone, and she worried while commuting to work.

Law enforcement contacts with Crotty resulted in more calls to the vice president. After local law enforcement talked to Crotty’s mother, he left the vice president a message stating that “if anything happens to my 78-year-old mother, I will personally kill you,” according to the affidavit.

A Rock County sheriff’s deputy called Crotty on Aug. 29, told him Hufcor had obtained several restraining orders against him and asked him to cease making the calls. Instead, Crotty left the Hufcor vice president a message telling her he didn’t care if she got 20 restraining orders. He asked authorities to come get him for a ride on a Boeing 747 airliner because he was sick of riding buses, according to the affidavit.

Crotty’s cell phone records indicate the calls originated outside of Wisconsin. The calls continued until Aug. 26.

Crotty was charged in federal court Sept. 1, arrested in Oklahoma on Sept. 7 and formally indicted in Madison on Sept. 8. He was scheduled to make an initial court appearance in Madison on Friday morning but remained in federal custody in Oklahoma.

Crotty is charged with using a phone located in another state to harass and intimate the vice president, placing her in a reasonable fear of death. If convicted, he faces up to five years in prison.

Last updated: 6:19 pm Thursday, December 13, 2012

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