Maybe you recently met someone who intrigues you at a party or at a friend’s home. You call the person and get an abrupt, negative response. You persist in calling many times after that anyway. Then you get impatient and escalate your attempts to get this individual’s attention by driving by their home several times. Maybe you leave a small gift on the doorstep.
The object of your fervor tells you to back off permanently but you doggedly persist. You convince yourself that sooner or later, if you keep bringing yourself to this person’s notice, the storybook romance of a lifetime will eventually blossom.
However, the target of all the unwelcome overtures could be alarmed, construe your actions as stalking and report you to the police. Exactly what is stalking and can you tell if your behavior fits the pattern?
The characteristics of a stalker
You might assume that at worst, you are being a nuisance or a pest. That’s if you realize at all that what you are doing is not being interpreted favorably by the other person. The definition of stalking in Colorado is clear. According to the Colorado Stalking Statute (also known as Vonnie’s Law), stalking encompasses the following:
- Making a “credible threat to another person”
- Deliberately and “repeatedly” being in the person’s vicinity by, for example, following or surveilling
- Causing the person to experience “serious emotional distress” and be concerned for their safety
A stalker’s first offense is considered a class 5 felony. Stalkers can be either men or women, although 75 ro 80% – of stalking involves men who are targeting women.
Monitor your behavior so it doesn’t cross the line from ardor to stalking. An experienced attorney in Colorado can be a good source of information on this subject.