Man arrested on suspicion of stalking comedian
A Belgian national was arrested Tuesday on suspicion of harassing a comedian for months via email before showing up at a club where she performed in West Hollywood.
Initially, the suspect, identified as Pierre Van Lint, contacted Esther Povitsky via emails and told her he lived in Belgium and wanted to travel to Los Angeles to meet her, the Los Angeles County Sheriff's Department said.
But sheriff's investigators said that over the course of eight months, the emails became "increasingly aggressive and inappropriate."
Van Lint, whom Ms. Povitsky had never met, grew concerned when he told her that he wanted to travel to Los Angeles to meet her. As an entertainer, "Povitsky identified the problems with this type of unsolicited attention," Sheriff's Department officials said.
Povitsky received an email Friday stating that Van Lint was in Los Angeles. Povitsky also was warned that a person identifying himself as the sender of the emails came "looking for her" at a comedy club in the 8400 block of Sunset Boulevard.
Povitsky filed a report with the West Hollywood Sheriff’s Station. Her statements and e-mails sent by Van Lint led investigators to a motel in the 6800 block of Sunset Boulevard in Hollywood, where the suspect was arrested.
Deputies arrested Van Lint on suspicion of stalking, authorities say. He was booked at the West Hollywood Sheriff’s Station and was being held in lieu of $50,000 bail.
Povitsky allowed her name to be released, authorities said, to raise awareness of stalking and harassment issues.
Anyone with information, is asked to call Det. Mike Berbiar or the watch commander of the West Hollywood station at (310) 855-8850.