A Monmouth County man has been arrested and held in jail on stalking, burglary and cyber-harassment charges following a series of events in connection with harassment incidents via social media and ensuing break-ins, Monmouth County Prosecutor Christopher J. Gramiccioni announced on Wednesday.
Wayde M. Delhagen, 25, of Wayside Road in Neptune Township is charged with: third-degree burglary, fourth-degree theft by unlawful taking, fourth-degree criminal mischief, and related charges of fourth-degree stalking and fourth-degree cyber-harassment.
The case background …
The arrest of Delhagen comes after Neptune Township Police responded to a 3 a.m. 911 call on June 15 reporting a possible burglary at a home in the 700 block of Wayside Road. Upon arrival, officers spoke to the 18-year-old female victim and her mother, who reported that someone had broken into the girl’s bedroom through a window, while mother and daughter were asleep in another part of the residence. The victim indicated she had been having trouble with a man she met using social media.
While continuing their investigation during a search of the surrounding area, Neptune Township police officers found Delhagen in front of a nearby home. He was found in possession of a bathing suit top and a bra belonging to the victim and taken from a laundry basket located under the window of her bedroom.
At that time, Delhagen was charged with burglary, theft and criminal mischief. He was released on a summons in accordance with the recommendation from Delhagen’s Public Safety Assessment.
The Neptune Township police continued its investigation, and learned the victim had first come in contact with Delhagen last year through social media. That contact morphed into harassment after the victim rejected Delhagen’s efforts to set up a meeting for the two, forcing the victim to cut off any communication between them. In May 2019, Delhagen contacted the victim using a different social media platform, asking if he could come over to the victim’s house and inquiring if the victim’s mother was home.
She reported that he then sent her disturbing images, including a Google Maps image of the victim’s residence. After he was again rejected by the victim, Delhagen sent a harassing message to the girl’s mother. Neptune Township Police charged him with stalking and cyber-harassment, and he was taken to the Monmouth County Correctional Institution.
Delhagen is also charged out of Neptune City with two counts of fourth degree cyber-harassment as part of an ongoing investigation into harassing messages sent via social media and his cell phone to a separate set of victims.
In that case, Delhagen is accused of using social media accounts to repeatedly send threatening messages and sexually explicit materials to another young female victim and her mother. Those threatening messages also included references to the Sarah Stern homicide. Delhagen is currently being held in the Monmouth County Correctional Institution in Freehold Township. He had a first appearance on June 26, 2019, before Monmouth County Superior Court Judge James J. McGann.
A detention hearing is scheduled for July 1, 2019, before Judge McGann. If convicted of burglary, Delhagen faces a sentence of three to five years in prison. If convicted of the fourth-degree offenses, he faces up to 18 months in state prison on each count. Despite this arrest, law enforcement authorities continue to seek names of other potential victims that may have been contacted by Delhagen on social media.
Anyone with additional information about this case is asked to contact Detective James Van Etten of the Neptune City Police Department at (732) 455-0117, or Det. Erick Amadruto of the Neptune Twp. Police Department at (732) 988-8000 ext. 419.
— Edited press release from the Monmouth County Prosecutor’s Office