A Leesburg man was arrested after allegedly harassing his ex-girlfriend for several days through over a hundred threatening calls and texts.
Ronald Braithwaite, 32, was charged with stalking Monday morning after Marion County deputies booked him for a string of incidents that occurred at the end of last month, according to an arrest report from the Marion County Sheriff’s Office.
On Aug. 30, deputies responded to an undisclosed residence in Marion County in reference to a suspicious person. Braithwaite was identified as the suspect and stopped in a blue Toyota 4Runner while the female victim was spoken to at the residence, the report said.
The victim advised that she had been having issues with Braithwaite since their recent breakup, and he was retaliating. He showed up at the residence and began to bang on the doors and windows, yelling he would slit her ex-boyfriend’s throat. He did not live at the residence. As such, he was trespassed from the property and issued a warning. The victim was instructed to call law enforcement again if he continued the harassment, the report said.
The victim called back twice and advised that Braithwaite had been calling and messaging her nonstop. The deputy returned to the residence later in the evening to reinterview her about the possibility of stalking, the report said.
During the interview, the victim explained that she and Braithwaite had dated for about a year before the recent breakup on Sunday, Aug. 27. He wanted to come over to talk and get his belongings, but she did not want him in her home. She packed his few belongings and began driving to his parents’ house instead, the report said.
About 15 minutes down the road, Braithwaite saw the victim driving and made a U-turn in the median, the report said. He pulled in front of her and hit his brakes. She tried going to the other lane, but he blocked her from passing. He also slowed down and put his hazards on. When they came to a stoplight, he got out of his car, went to her window, yelled at her, pushed her window in and walked back to his car.
As they drove down the road, Braithwaite threw something, possibly caramel, and it splattered on the victim’s windshield. He continued driving in front of her until they reached his parents’ house in Leesburg. He then went over to her, grabbed her phone and threw it across the yard. While she went to go get it, he reached inside her car and took the keys. He returned to his vehicle and left, stranding the victim at his parents’ house, the report said.
The victim went inside and called her father who in turn called the Lake County Sheriff’s Office. Braithwaite returned to continue arguing, but the victim eventually got her keys back. She left before LCSO arrived, the report said.
As the victim tried to leave, Braithwaite parked his car at the exit of the neighborhood. He got out of his vehicle and banged on her window asking her to talk, but she drove around him in the grass and left. He called her multiple times after that. The victim stopped once on the way home to try and talk to him but ended up driving away again. He continued to follow her back to her residence. When she got home, she went inside and locked the door. She called him to tell him to leave, and he eventually did, the report said.
On Aug. 28, Braithwaite asked to come over and get his hats. The victim let him, and they talked for a little while. He also stayed the night. They cuddled during this time, but the victim realized it was a mistake when she woke up the next morning, the reports said.
Braithwaite left for work on Aug. 29 and tried to call the victim multiple times, none of which she answered. He became upset when she did not reply to his “I love you” text. He became more upset when he noticed she was friends with her ex-boyfriend on Instagram. The victim received about 25 more calls and multiple texts that she still did not respond to, the report said.
The victim answered one of Braithwaite’s calls after work, during which he stated he had a gun in his car and would slit her ex-boyfriend’s throat. She called LCSO to report this once she got home. While talking to LCSO, Braithwaite began knocking on the door and windows telling her to come out to talk. He also threatened to kick the door down. The victim then called MCSO. She hid until the deputy arrived on scene, the report said.
After the deputy trespassed Braithwaite, he left at about 6:00 p.m. Between 5:44 and 8:33 p.m., he called the victim 107 times. Eight of those calls were through Snapchat, and three were attempted Facetimes. She did not answer any of them. However, the deputy was able to observe Braithwaite’s phone number during this time.
In the text messages from Aug. 30, Braithwaite told the victim to call him, and she refused. He became upset and demanded she call. He then became confrontational and sent her a screenshot of her following her ex on Instagram. He commented “what did I tell you I got you.” He told her she was a liar and messaged her multiple times, as well, the report said.
The victim did not reply for about three hours, the report said. At that point, she told Braithwaite the police had been called. He replied saying not to answer the phone. He said he did not care and that he would drive by on the public road to see if her ex was there. He then responded saying “IDGAF about the police.”
Braithwaite made several more threats, including calling the victim’s job and sending a message to her father to tell him she had herpes. He sent a picture of her father’s Facebook page with a drafted message claiming she had genital herpes. He also texted a photo of a similar message that he sent to her ex-boyfriend. The victim barely replied except to tell him not to come to her residence, the report said.
The deputy later tried speaking with Braithwaite about the incident over the phone using the number given by the victim. However, he stated nothing happened and that the victim called him. He became defensive when asked about the over 100 calls. When told that he was not under arrest and to not return to the victim’s residence, he hung up on the deputy, the report said.
After Braithwaite’s arrest Monday, he was charged with stalking (follow, harass, cyberstalk another). He was transported to the Marion County Jail and released after posting $2,000 bond.