MOUNTAIN VIEW (CBS SF) – Authorities in Mountain View have arrested a man who allegedly stalked a woman over the internet for more than a decade, following an apparent coughing incident when they were both in high school.
Police arrested 29-year-old Matthew Cringle of Los Altos on Monday, following an investigation that lasted several months.
According to police, the victim said she received explicit messages from multiple fake Facebook accounts. During the course of the investigation, police said they linked the accounts to Cringle, who started to harass the victim years earlier while they were both attending a local high school.
Police said Cringle fixated on the victim after she apparently once told him to cover his mouth when he coughed. He then created fake Facebook profiles, reaching out to the victim, her friends and her family by sending messages that were sexually explicit.
Recently, detectives said Cringle began to use his personal email account to contact the victim, seeking her whereabouts.
“This is the first holiday season in over a decade where the victim can relax and not worry about looking over her shoulder,” Sgt. Tim Dahl said in a police statement. “[Cringle] has had enough opportunities to change his behavior, and he still didn’t stop. She shouldn’t have to live in fear.”
Cringle was taken into custody without incident and is being held at the Santa Clara County Jail. He faces multiple charges, including felony stalking, stalking under a prohibited restraining order and making criminal threats.
Police believe there may be additional victims. Anyone with knowledge of the case is being asked to contact Dahl via email at email@example.com, referencing case number 18-02540.