A Unified Police Department officer is charged with stalking and electronic harassment
Neil Poff, 41, was charged in 3rd District Court last week with stalking and computer crimes, which are third-degree felonies, as well as electronic communication harassment and misuse of criminal history record, which are class B misdemeanors. He bonded out of jail Monday, according to court documents.
Poff, a UPD officer, was in a relationship with a woman who worked part time for UPD as a crossing guard from April 2010 into July 2012. But she noticed that during the last few months of their relationship that he was jealous of her male friends, according to the charges.
He asked her about a phone number she had texted 112 times, and showed her a picture of a man associated with that number and described his criminal history, according to the charges.
But the criminal he described was a previous owner of the number, not her friend, who recently acquired it, and his knowledge of her phone record revealed he'd accessed her private information, the charges add.
She also received several emails from different addresses that made her fear for her safety and the safety of her children, which she told the police about. Someone had also changed the passwords on her email and Facebook accounts.
Poff was placed on leave on Aug. 1, 2012, and in the days that followed, she received more harassing texts and emails, including some that threatened to post nude photos of her online, according to the charges. Investigators say they traced the messages back to Poff.
"Poff engaged in a course of domestic violence towards his victim which is extensive in scope and substantial in seriousness," the charges read. "He made implicit threats of death and violence [and] there is circumstantial evidence that he may have removed lug nuts from the victim's vehicle creating a risk of injury or death."
Poff remains on leave pending the outcome of the investigation. Each of the felony charges carries a potential five-year prison sentence, and the misdemeanors six months in jail.