Thinking About Stalking? Better Think Again In Amarillo.
It's a term that has a tendency to get thrown around very loosely with a vague understanding of what it actually means. Stalking.
There are many that believe stalking is when someone happens to show up in several different places that you are. Sometimes it's coincidence, sometimes it's not. However, even if it's not coincidence, it's not exactly stalking.
According to the Meriam-Webster dictionary, the true definition of stalking is:
"the act or crime of willfully and repeatedly following or harassing another person in circumstances that would cause a reasonable person to fear injury or death especially because of express or implied threats"
So while someone could be keeping tabs on where you are and showing up, by definition it's not stalking.
However, we have seen a bit of an increase in true stalking cases in the Texas Panhandle, and police are starting to crack down on it and make an example of these people.
The first true stalking case we heard of was last year. Katasha Woodward was served with a warrant on June 4th, 2022. When she opened the door and saw police trying to execute the warrant, she slammed the door shut on them and barricaded herself inside.
The charges she was being served on were criminal trespass and criminal mischief, but later charges of evading the police and stalking were tagged on.
Fast forward to October 5, 2023 where Woodward was indeed found guilty of stalking and sentenced to 10 years in TDCJ, the maximum allowed by law for the charge. In the case, we found out that Woodward had made threats to harm and kill the victim, to assault a family member, and made several visits to the victims home yielding weapons.
Our next stalking case is more recent as on September 25, 2023, Mary Alexandra Frye was arrested for stalking Amarillo City Councilman Don Tipps most notably, along with three other people.
According to court documents, Frye had been stalking Tipps since May sending numerous texts and photos of herself to him. She was also accused of stalking another man as well as a couple starting in December of 2022 and ending that pursuit in March. She then turned her attention to Tipps.
That case is currently pending.
Long story short, police and the Sherriff's departments have had enough with the stalking and are cracking down on it. If you've been stalking someone or are thinking about it, don't. It's obviously a bad idea and you could end up in jail for several years. Ask yourself if it's worth it.
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