Thursday, December 14, 2017
Public safety

Pam Bondi wants judge to keep Tampa stalker away

TAMPA — Florida's attorney general tells a judge she has a stalker, one who peeks through the windows of her Tampa home and sends her unsolicited text messages expressing his appreciation for her "physical attributes."

Pamela Jo Bondi filed a petition in Hillsborough Circuit Court asking that 51-year-old William Norman Wilkes be kept away.

A hearing on the matter is scheduled for today.

"It is terrifying when a man tries to enter your home in the middle of the night," Bondi responded to the Tampa Bay Times in an email. "I do not plan to discuss this personal matter further."

Bondi called 911 after Wilkes began banging on her door about 3 a.m. on March 19, according to her petition and an arrest report. She did not answer, but she could see him through a front window, Tampa police reported.

"He was agitating her dog by tapping on the glass," the report stated.

Video surveillance captured his conduct, but he left before police arrived.

State law allows the attorney general to request protection from the Florida Highway Patrol in response to a threat. A trooper was working a security detail at her home when Wilkes returned the morning of April 22, according to the arrest report.

"You guys probably have my prints from when I was here the other night," he responded, according to the court filing.

Tampa police arrived for backup. Wilkes told officers that he wanted to speak with Bondi because he wanted to get a job or a job reference, police reported.

Records show he was taken into custody under the state's Baker Act, which allows for mental evaluation of people who appear likely to harm themselves or others.

On the afternoon of April 27, Wilkes tried to call Bondi's personal mobile phone using Facebook Messenger, she wrote in the court petition. When she rejected the call, he sent text messages.

"Mrs. Bondi," he wrote, according to the arrest report. "May we get married soon."

"Your (sic) more beautiful than I ever remember — how dat happen … I am in love."

Wilkes was arrested two days later at Good Samaritan Inn, a rooming house on N Florida Avenue in Tampa Heights. A security officer there told police that Wilkes had licked several women, causing a disturbance. He appeared drunk, claimed he had been roughed up by security and tried to go back inside, Tampa police reported.

He was arrested and taken to the Hillsborough County jail, where he remains without bail on charges of trespassing and stalking, among others. Court and jail records show that he has lived in Tampa and Inverness.

Wilkes has served three stints in state prison over the years for crimes that include robbery, grand theft and burglary.

It's not the first time Bondi has received unwanted attention. In the 1990s, when she was an assistant state attorney in Tampa, a man whom she had prosecuted on a worthless-check charge made repeated harassing phone calls.

The man, Paul Andrew Saad, was charged with stalking and was later sent for treatment in a state mental hospital. His life ended tragically in suicide.

Times senior news researcher John Martin and staff writer Steve Bousquet contributed to this report. Contact Dan Sullivan at [email protected] or (813) 226-3386. Follow @TimesDan.

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