Man stalking animal researchers due in court

December 16, 2008 1:29:54 PM PST
A 33-year-old man who allegedly stalked and harassed two scientists who perform research on animals is scheduled to appear in San Mateo County Superior Court this afternoon, a deputy district attorney said.

Justin Bhagat Thind, a Capitola resident, faces five felony charges and one misdemeanor charge for allegedly calling the University of California, San Francisco researchers, both San Mateo County residents, incessantly for a week in September 2007, Chief Deputy District Attorney Steve Wagstaffe said.

Thind pleaded not guilty Oct. 1 to two counts of stalking, two counts of felony threats, one count of threatening a school employee, and one count of obscene or threatening phone calls, Wagstaffe said.

From Sept. 6, 2007, to Sept. 10, 2007, Thind reportedly called the researchers "day and night," to the point where they felt threatened, Wagstaffe said.

He allegedly said he would make the researchers suffer the same way they made the animals suffer, Wagstaffe said.

In the months that followed, the researchers said they felt "insecure," and alerted campus police, Wagstaffe said.

Phone records tied the calls to Thind's cell phone, and he was arrested July 6.

He is scheduled to appear in court today for a pretrial conference. His jury trial date is set for Feb. 17, Wagstaffe said.