A woman was given a temporary restraining order against a man who stalked her on Instagram — and saw him a day later while walking in a Tennessee park, federal prosecutors say.
Two years later, a judge sentenced Barry Zarculia, 55, of Nashville, to three years in federal prison for cyberstalking on July 29, a press release from the U.S. Attorney’s Office for the Middle District of Tennessee says.
The woman is one of six victims Zarculia has stalked, harassed, harassed and threatened via Instagram from at least 2019, court documents show. Prosecutors say his conviction comes after he pleaded guilty to three counts of cyberstalking in November 2021.
“I think I really know where you live,” Zarculia is accused of telling the woman in an audio message sent to her Instagram account in September 2020, according to a complaint.
McClatchy News contacted Zarculia’s attorney on Aug. 1 for comment and awaited a response.
In June 2020, an anonymous tip alerted the FBI on Zarculia’s Instagram account about “hateful, racist, anti-black” posts he shared, according to the release. In addition, Zarculia is said to have posted messages praising the sniper who carried out the Las Vegas massacre in 2017.
Prosecutors accused him of using his account to send death threats, explicit photos and telling multiple victims that he knew where they lived.
The victims of cyberstalking
After Zarculia’s social media posts started receiving “negative feedback” in 2020, he began posting identifying information about a man on his Instagram account, according to the complaint.
“Anyone who wants a piece of me, come by…I’m sleeping in the front bedroom,” Zarculia wrote in a post, sharing a photo of the man’s home and his address, court documents show. .
In July 2020, the FBI interviewed the man who told investigators that his young son sleeps in the front bedroom and was concerned about him and his son’s safety, according to the complaint. They learned that Zarculia had allegedly sent the man death threats.
That same month, Zarculia started sending a woman unsolicited Instagram messages, the release said. He is accused of “making it clear that he had followed her and knew where she had been and where she lived”.
A month before these messages, described as “sexual in nature,” began, the woman told the FBI she had seen Zarculia wave at her on about a dozen separate occasions as she walked or drove around her neighborhood, the indictment said.
Zarculia’s Instagram posts led the woman to install a security system at her home and report him to the Metro Nashville Police Department, prosecutors said.
On September 19, 2020, the woman was at a gas station when Zarculia arrived – prompting her to hide in her car in the hopes that he “wouldn’t see her,” according to the complaint.
However, in an Instagram audio message she received after she returned home, Zarculia made it clear that he had indeed seen her and referred to how she lives near the gas station, prosecutors said.
After more “threatening/harassing/harassing messages,” the woman was given a restraining order against Zarculia on October 2, 2020, the indictment said.
On Oct. 3, 2020, the woman ended up walking in a local park when she saw Zarculia from afar and decided to hide in a large bush until he left, prosecutors say.
A park ranger escorted the woman to her car when she saw Zarculia again, who yelled at her, “Stay away from me, you crazy one–! I’ll see you in court!”, according to the indictment.
Zarculia is charged with cyberstalking and harassing at least three other women via Instagram, including one who said he ended up confronting her in a supermarket, the indictment shows.
Regarding this woman, “these messages escalated into violent and threatening diatribes, some in audio format and also addressed to a friend of the woman who had become involved out of fear for the woman’s safety,” the press release said.
Zarculia victims “were forced to take additional security measures, including installing or updating their home alarm systems, or even moving their homes, to mitigate the threat,” prosecutors say.