ORLANDO — A Riverview man posted again and again about Lana Del Rey, calling her his "wife" and indicating after he met her he would probably never be seen again. Then police found him outside her concert with a knife.
Michael S. Hunt, 43, was arrested a block from Amway Center, the site of Friday’s leg of Del Rey’s LA to the Moon Tour, according to the Orlando Police Department release.
On him were a knife and two tickets.
Police said someone called in a tip earlier that day that Hunt would try to kidnap Del Rey, 32, whose real name is Elizabeth Woolridge Grant.
Though it’s not clear how the tipster learned of the threat, Hunt had been leaving hints on his Facebook page of plans to find the singer.
On Jan. 28, Hunt wrote, "I have the whole universe and all I care about is reuniting with my queen I miss you so much Lana I heard you call me through all your songs I heard it and sing to me and now I’m home so that we can have our son and then we can return back to the skies."
On Monday, he posted, "I love you so much Lana I can’t wait to be back in your arms in a few days baby."
In a comment on his own Facebook Live video that same day, he announced, "I’m leaving on Friday I’m around here for a couple of days I have to meet with my wife on Friday when she’s here on concert and then you’ll probably never see me again so I’m around here and Brandon I’ll be gone in a couple of days though."
His page shows dozens of photos and videos of the singer in the days before the concert, as well as posts and videos about energies and God that left commenters concerned.
While Hunt made it some 80 miles from Riverview to just outside the concert, he never came into contact with Grant, police said.
Hunt faces a felony charge of aggravated stalking. He was being held in the Orange County Jail on no bond.
In a first appearance Sunday, Hunt said he did not want a lawyer, despite Orange County Circuit Court Judge A. James Craner repeatedly reminding him of the option. Assistant State Attorney Kelly Hicks read out several of Hunt’s Facebook posts as justification for an additional felony charge of attempted kidnapping with a weapon.
"Clearly, he intended to be with Lana Del Rey against her consent," she said.
She said police showed the singer Hunt’s posts and that she was "in fear."
Hunt laughed throughout and insisted all of the messages were benign.
"There’s nothing in there that was derogatory or mean," he said. "Nothing that said I was going to harm anybody. Did I want to see her? Yes, I admitted that to you. Do I care for her? Yes. Do I know her? No, I only know her from her songs."
He said he only wanted to deliver some paintings he had done of the singer and took an Uber to Orlando because a person who was supposed to give him a ride canceled.
The judge found probable cause for the stalking charge, but not the charge of attempted kidnapping.
According to the man’s profile, he attended East Bay High School in Gibsonton and used to be an owner of "Hunt’s Roofing." State records show he established a company by the same name in 2009, when he lived in Brandon.
Since 1991, he’s served five stints in state prison, after convictions of burglary, motor vehicle theft, forgery and drug possession.
Most recently, he was arrested twice in Pinellas Countyfor possession of hash oil and then cocaine.
On Sunday, the singer tweeted that she is "doing fine."
In 2016, another Tampa Bay area man shot and killed singer Christine Grimmie after a concert in Orlando.
Police said Kevin Loibl of St. Petersburg fatally shot Grimmie as she was signing autographs and then turned the gun on himself.
Contact Langston Taylor at 727-893-8659 or firstname.lastname@example.org. Follow @langstonitaylor.