LOS ANGELES – The commitment demonstrated by Paris Hilton’s stalker, James Rainford, might seem difficult to match, with Rainford having been arrested several times for pursuing Hilton, including this past Fourth of July, and even karate-chopping Paris’s former BF in the back of the head a few months ago.
But there’s a new alleged celebrity stalker in town that seems equally relentless, this one with his sights set on Halle Berry.
KTLA news reports that Richard Franco, 27, was taken into custody about 11 p.m. Monday night following at least two other incursions onto Berry’s property over the weekend.
Berry, best known as an Oscar-winning actress, former model, beauty queen and hit-and-run driver, was reportedly terrified by the incidents.
A Berry assistant reported first confronting the man Saturday morning in Berry’s yard before the interloper escaped over the wall. Then, on Sunday, Berry came face to face with the stalker as he stared back at her from outside her kitchen window.
Following the Sunday incident, Berry fled upstairs, according to the KTLA report, locked herself in a room and called 911. While Police were unable to locate the impostor during an extensive search Sunday afternoon, Berry’s security team was ready for him Monday night.
TMZ reports that the security team was able to watch on a surveillance camera as Franco came over the wall into Berry’s yard where they quickly corralled him and called the cops. LAPD arrived on scene shortly thereafter and arrested Franco for felony stalking.
The latest TMZ report says Franco pleaded not guilty Wednesday to the stalking charge and the judge issued a restraining order. Meanwhile, ontheredcarpet.com says Franco is still being held in lieu of $150,000 and will be arraigned Thursday.
Franco also reportedly has a significant list of previous crimes.